BERLIN – The coming of August marks for the last month of the summer before school. In Berlin, it signifies the return of the town’s annual sidewalk sale.
With school starting in less than a month, parents are turning their attention to replacing their children’s worn-out clothes and bookbags and local shops are trying to make room for their fall inventory.
The annual Berlin Sidewalk sale presents shoppers with the opportunity to save big as well as gives Berlin businesses the chance to move seasonal merchandise before it is past its prime.
This year, the sidewalk sale coincides with Berlin’s First Friday Art Stroll as well as the first day of Shop Maryland Tax-Free Week.
The Berlin Sidewalk Sale will be held Aug. 10-12 with items discounted both inside and outside the shops.
Multiple Berlin businesses including Victorian Charm, Bruder Hill and Bruder Home and World of Toys are slated to participate in the sale.
Victorian Charm, a North Main Street clothing and accessories boutique, will be offering discounts starting at 50 percent off on items sold both in the store and on the sidewalk.
“We learned over the years, if you’re going to get someone’s attention and move merch, you have to have a serious cut,” said Steve Frene, sale organizer and owner of Victorian Charm.
Bruder Hill on Commerce Street and Bruder Home on North Main Street will be selling select items at 10-60 percent off including shoes, clothes and houseware.
North Main Street’s World of Toys will be selling summer items as well as overstocked toys and games, at up to 50 percent off.
An updated list of participating businesses can be found on the Berlin Sidewalk Sale Facebook page, but Frene said more businesses usually participate than just the ones that notify him.
Frene and his wife, Debbie, have owned and operated Victorian Charm for nearly 25 years.
“This event has been going on for about 64 years,” Frene said.
The Berlin Sidewalk Sale has been a Berlin tradition since the days of the Style Guide Clothing Store. After the department store closed over 20 years ago, the Frenes took over organizing the sale.
The Berlin Sidewalk Sale has seen a resurgence in recent years with the increased number of boutiques in town, Frene said.
Since the sale is typically used to make room for fall products, the sale is more relevant for those shops with seasonal merchandise, like fashion boutiques.
The first day of the sale, Aug. 10 coincides with Berlin’s popular Second Friday Art Stroll.
On Aug. 11, Commerce Street will be closed to traffic to allow businesses to set up tables in the street as well.
The final day of the sale overlaps with the first day of Shop Maryland Tax-Free Week.
Without sales tax on certain items, shoppers will receive an extra 6 percent discount on items under $100 and will not have to pay taxes on the first $40 of backpacks and bookbags.
The full list of tax exempt items can be found at www.marylandtaxes.gov.