Darien Sidewalk Sale encourages community to shop local

DARIEN — The Darien Chamber of Commerce’s annual Sidewalk Sales & Family Fun Days took place this weekend to great success.

“It’s just so exciting to have the whole community come together,” said Suzanne Brannan, store manager with J. McLaughlin, one of more than 50 businesses that participated in the event, which ran from Wednesday through Saturday.

“We just love to see so many of our regular customers,” she said, “and we love seeing new ones.”

Kesti Aysseh, executive director of the chamber, said the sale has been in existence for around 30 years.

“I think it’s an annual tradition that everyone looks forward to,” she said. “It’s great to shop local and engage with all the businesses that are the cornerstone of our community.”

With the pandemic somewhat in everyone’s rearview mirror, she noted it was very positive to out and about engaging with the community in person.

“It brings the community together in a casual way,” echoed Michele Gartland, a chamber board member, noting how people are not only shopping, but spending time catching up with others they haven’t seen face to face for some time.

Throughout the long weekend, she said there were activities for kids as well as adult consumers, including music, balloons and even a stilt walker roaming the area.

“I think we’ve had a great sale,” said Ula Kramer, a volunteer with the Darien Community Association.

“We’re just grateful for this wonderful town,” Gartland said, “and if there’s one thing we can stress it’s to shop local.”