In fast-moving, forever evolving, Retail Churn-ing Red Bank, well-entrenched local traditions are increasingly rare. So when it comes to a decades-spanning institution like the Red Bank Sidewalk Sale, the benefit can be as much about providing continuity for longtime locals as it is about the thrill of discovery for relative newcomers.
Back for an amazing 63rd annual edition, the three-day thift-a-thon presented by Red Bank Rivercenter commandeers the downtown business blocks Friday through Sunday for a midsummer mainstay that includes merchants both long-running and lately arrived. It also incorporates some of the best new ideas of recent seasons, such as a weekend-long soundtrack of live music — and did somebody say free parking?
Vehicular visitors will of course be interested in the news that once again, paid parking spots throughout the business district streets and municipal parking lots will be offered at no charge Friday and Saturday (as is the case year round, there’s no charge for parking on Sunday). Sale hours for the 2017 event will be 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, plus 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday — a window in which seekers of those fabled folding-table finds, street-rack ‘steals’ and bottom-of-the-box bargains can stop scrolling and start strolling through a real-world alternative to the “e-tail” outlets that have allegedly dealt a lethal blow to the nation’s brick-and-mortar downtowns.
Some of the borough’s most established landmark businesses (including Hobbymasters, Mustillo’s and Seldin’s Trinkets) will be joining such offbeat newcomers as Trap Door Escape Room, Renaissance Pilates and Arthur Murray Dance, for an ensemble effort that encompasses jewelry (CT Peters, J&S, Jace, Quicksilver), wearables (The Bee, Paint A Tee, Sweetest Sin), home accents (Nemo Tile, Red Ginger, Window Treats), and even certified pre-owned merchandise from the likes of DoubleTake Luxury Consignment and Nearly New.
There are many more vendors set to take it outside for the duration, with shoppers advised to take it here for an updated list of participants. Then take it here for details on this weekend’s special expanded edition of Red Bank Street Life, the free open-air performance series that brings live music and entertainment to the borough’s sidewalks and storefronts every summertime Saturday night between 6 and 9 p.m. The streets will of course be teeming with Life during those hours on July 29 — and the Street Life schedule will be enhanced with additional acts on Friday night, in addition to Saturday and Sunday afternoons.