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Consumers ‘harvest’ savings during annual sidewalk sale

Amanda Rhine

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Anne Marie Chik shows Trinity Chik-McNeal a great new Made In Chico addition for their yard. Photo credit: Veronica Hodur

Merchants and the Downtown Chico Business Association invited consumers to “rake in” the savings during the annual Harvest Sidewalk Sale. Sidewalks and storefronts were bursting with bargains and products ranging from clothing, shoes and jewelry to home furnishings, art supplies and hardware.

Downtown Chico celebrated the coming of fall and the sale by marking the corners of every intersection with hay bales and scarecrows, lining the streets with pumpkins and filling the sidewalks with merchandise ready to be rummaged through.

Kids with ice cream smeared all over their faces played tag while trying not to drop their overflowing cones on the cement. They weaved through a labyrinth of canopies full of clearance commodities and sandwich boards depicting slashed prices from stores such as Fleet Feet Sports and Urban Laundry.

Parents perused the sales racks for cute clothing at a good price, just in case the ice cream ended up on the kids instead of the cement.

Students socialized and shopped for stylish shoes to kick off the foray into cooler weather, receiving either displeased head shakes or enthusiastic nods from their friends.

Chico resident Linda Anderson attends the sale every year to get a jump on Christmas shopping. She appreciates the varieties and values it has to offer.

“I always find a few things that my grandchildren would like,” she said. “If they don’t (like them), then I don’t feel that I wasted a lot of time or money.”

The businesses and consumers aren’t the only ones that benefit from the sale. Many of the restaurants downtown are packed with hungry shoppers for the endurance of the event.

While buying quality items at reduced prices is the goal for many shoppers, some feel that eating at their favorite restaurant is the highlight of the sale.

“(My wife) gets to shop until her heart’s content without completely breaking my wallet, which is good,” said Louis, an Oroville resident. “But I come all the way (to Chico) just to eat at 5th Street Steakhouse.”

Whether it was to bag the biggest bargains, hang with the homies or munch on a delicious meal, the annual Harvest Sidewalk Sale had something for everyone. Even the scarecrows looked pleased as they warded off pesky pigeons from potentially ruining everyone’s good time.

Amanda Rhine can be reached at [email protected] or @am_rhine on Twitter.

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Consumers ‘harvest’ savings during annual sidewalk sale