First 'Shop the Street' event takes over downtown Brockville, Ont.
Brockville's first sidewalk sale of the summer happened on Saturday, with businesses and shoppers agreeing that it feels like a return to normalcy.
Cooler temperatures brought out hundreds of eager shoppers, with businesses looking to recoup some lost sales after months of lockdown.
"It's probably one of our very busiest weekends, when the street is closed," said Amanda Adamcryck, who runs two downtown stores, Revolution and Prima Donna Fashion Shop. "We have a great community here, a lot of local support is very, very crucial for our business.
"The lockdown was long enough and everybody was ready to come out and talk to people," she added. "People really want the human connection again. And it's nice to see everybody out."
King Street was closed from Victoria Avenue to Perth Street, with tons of items to offer, from fresh produce to clothing.
The Brockville Farmers' Market was also running, with a long line of people waiting to shop.
"I'd say the hot days are kind of almost worse than the cooler days because the cooler days, you walk around for a while; the hot days, you've got to get out of the sun after a while," said events and communications coordinator for downtown Brockville Sam Cowan.
"Shop The Street is just a little bit of a reiteration of Space to Shop last year, but instead they're spaced out a little bit more and it's to help businesses recuperate some of the lost sales over the lockdown months," Cowan said, impressed by the crowd.
"It looks good. A lot of people are distancing and respecting the mask rules and everything, which is great." Cowan added.
"I actually I heard someone this morning say that it was the first time they had gotten out with their family in nine months, so it's pretty amazing," Cowan said. "It feels a little bit normal, a good sense of normalcy."
Shoppers found everything from pool noodles to champagne glasses along the street.
"I think it's wonderful. Long overdue," said friends Cari and Marlene. "People need to get back to normal. It's great, and finally be able to get out in the fresh air and just see people, it's wonderful."
Sisters Cate and Sophie Cawthray found some deals at an antique store in the west end.
"You can actually get out and be outside instead of in stores," the said. "There's a lot of room on the streets. It's easy to window shop. You can look before you go in, so it's actually kind of fun."
Shop the Streets will happen three other times through the summer, on July 24, Aug. 7, and Sept. 4.
"We would love to see more, always, because it is such a successful day for us," said Adamcryck. "My other store, we cater to a little older demographic and they're not quite as eager to get out yet. So this Shop the Street makes it a nice, safe place."
She thinks the high vaccination rate in the Brockville area seems to have helped people come downtown.
"Our area, we're very lucky we have such a high vaccination rate. So people are starting to feel a little bit safer and all the stores are still offering, you know, hand sanitizer, distancing, masks available if you don't have one. So we're still being cautious, but it's definitely going in the right direction," Adamcryck said.