A Cedarhurst economic engine revs up

Summer Sidewalk Sale starts July 25


It’s been 30 years since the first Summer Sidewalk Sale, and while a generation’s worth of world, national and local events have unfolded since then, one constant has been the success of this Cedarhurst Business Improvement District event.

Getting under way July 25, the four-day sale will give stores a mid-summer boost in traffic, and residents and visitors the opportunity to explore what the village has to offer. According to BID Executive Director Teri Schure, 90 merchants will take part.

Tables full of trinkets, gadgets and goodies and racks of clothes will line the sidewalks of Central and Cedarhurst avenues from the start of the event, at 10 a.m. on July 25, to 6 p.m. on July 29 (with the sale suspended for Shabbos on July 28).

The Cedarhurst Business Association, the BID’s predecessor, started the event in 1988, and the BID took over after it was formed 25 years ago. In the years since, the sale has become one of the area’s keynote events.

“Over the years, the BID has been able to make a substantial contribution to the financial health and vitality of its members primarily through events like the Sidewalk Sale that we sponsor and organize,” Schure said. “Merchants plan for the event months in advance, and hundreds of customers email us requesting the dates so they can make sure to be in town. The Cedarhurst Summer Sidewalk Sale is a real crowd pleaser.

“How long they’ve been doing it certainly shows how much everyone enjoys it,” said Warren Levi, owner of Warren Levi Martial Arts and Fitness. Levi’s experience with the sale is a bit different than that of other vendors, given that karate lessons don’t lend themselves to tabletop display, but he has set up a sign-up tent on the sidewalk each of the 14 years he has been in town.

“We promote fun and discipline for kids, and stress relief and weight loss for adults,” he said. “The sale is a great time to put ourselves out there in the community, and let everyone know we’re open to everyone.”

Jeff Beja, the owner of Central Galleries, which sells artwork and does custom framing, said he likes the Sidewalk Sale because “we get to see people that don’t always shop locally. They all come out, too.” Beja added that the store predates the event by two years, and that Central Galleries has participated since the beginning. “Not only does it help us do more business,” he said, “but we also get to expose more people in the neighborhood to some good art.”

Shoppers passing by AHC Appliances may not see refrigerators or dishwashers out on the sidewalk, but those who venture inside will see some great sales. “This is great timing for us,” said AHC’s marketing manager, Vanessa John-Tiwari. “We’re celebrating our 20th anniversary, and will have 20 percent off floor models … It’s a great way to show who we are and what we can offer to the community.”

Some shoppers come from as far away as New Jersey. “It’s hard to know how many people attended last year, but every on-street parking space was occupied, and all the parking lots were at full capacity,” Schure said. “I would estimate that several thousand people were in attendance over the four-day event, and millions of dollars in revenues were generated … Other local towns, cities or villages would be hard-pressed to garner anything close to that number of shoppers, which says a lot about the Village of Cedarhurst’s vibrancy.”