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.
Regular readers of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn feature can vouch that things often move at a brisk clip in the business district of a town that the New York Times recently touted for its “urban vibe.”
But one thing that’s remained a model of consistency amid the churn is the Red Bank Sidewalk Sale, the 62nd annual edition of which returns Friday and runs through Sunday.
It was a “diamond anniversary” event for which the Red Bank business community did it up grand – complete with a “pop-up museum” of historical memorabilia and a special “1950s fun” edition of the weekly StreetLife musical mashup. But how does “a cool little town” follow up a milestone like 2014’s 60th annual session of summertime Sidewalk Sale?
By forging ahead with the 61st annual Red Bank Sidewalk Sale, of course. Beginning today and running through late Sunday afternoon, one of the most firmly established community traditions enters its seventh decade as an all-welcome draw in those often lazy-hazy days of summer – not to mention a much-appreciated cornerstone of continuity, in an ever-evolving town that often transitions at a brisker clip than a lot of longtime locals can process.
While Red Bank remains an ever-evolving entity — sometimes at a brisker clip than a lot of longtime locals are prepared to digest — one summertime signifier of community life has been soldiering on, uninterrupted, for a frankly amazing 60 years. And in 2014, the Red Bank Sidewalk Sale marks its diamond anniversary with a three-day thriftarama that takes a look back at some of what’s made this town so great and unique.
Think about it: back in 1955, President Ike was dispatching the first U.S. advisors into an obscure place called Vietnam. The Brooklyn Dodgers were gearing up to finally make “next year” a here-and-now reality. School-age kids were promised trips to that new Disneyland place, if they’d just hold still for the equally new polio vaccine. Folks from nearby communities such as New Shrewsbury flocked to the Carlton Theatre to see James Dean light up the screen in East of Eden. And the Red Bank Register reported that the town fathers were planning a study of the ongoing downtown parking issues (let’s hear one for continuity).
Those decades of borough history won’t be trampled underfoot, as scores of shoppers take to the sidewalks of Broad, Monmouth, Front and White streets in search of figurative “diamonds” — that bargain in a box, that folding-table find, that street-rack steal. This Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Red Bank Rivercenter celebrates the occasion with a “trip down memory lane” — and a rolling out of the welcome mat for some exciting new additions to the Sidewalk Sale scene.