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July 15, 2014

Day on the Town brings shoppers to the streets

By Tiffany Esshaki
C & G Staff Writer

BIRMINGHAM — If you’re a fan of the shopping scene in downtown Birmingham, your day is here. The annual Day on the Town is coming July 26 with more entertainment, activities and sales than you can shake a shopping bag at.

The Birmingham Principal Shopping District will host its annual shopping event next Saturday featuring 12 hours of sidewalk sales and family fun along the bustling streets of Birmingham’s downtown retail district.

Like in years past, kids can look forward to the bike parade that starts at the steps of City Hall at 8:30 a.m. The parade, led by Birmingham police, kicks off the day with a dazzling show of decorated bikes from local children. Prizes will go to the most creative, the most patriotic, the most fashionable and the wackiest décor.

Beginning at 10 a.m., kids can head over to the Kids Zone at Maple Road, east of Old Woodward, to make a craft, chat up some clowns or burn off some energy in the bounce house, on the rock climbing wall or on the putt-putt golf course.

When guests need a break from the sales offered by Birmingham merchants, they can enjoy live entertainment from Axis Music Academy, Bill the Magician, Laura Rain and the Caesars, and other acts.

Back again this year is the North Oaks Corvette Club with a Corvette generations car show featuring over 100 corvettes, prizes, a 50/50 raffle and more.

While 10 hours’ worth of fun is certainly a draw for local families, the real highlight of the day are the deep discounts retailers will be offering, according to PSD Executive Director John Heiney, who said the event in years past has attracted more than 10,000 visitors in one day to Birmingham’s downtown.

“All the merchants that participate will tell you it’s one of their biggest sales days of the year. It’s all about the sale and helping those businesses clear out that summer merchandise and prepare for fall,” he said.

That’s certainly the goal for Debbie Vail, owner of Adventures in Toys. Throughout July, her downtown Birmingham shop has been offering customers 10 percent off on several different lines of product. Next weekend, she said, she’ll kick it up a notch.

“We always have a lot of different things discounted on Day on the Town. We like to keep the store new and fresh, and that’s the one day we feel we can do that, (to benefit) us and the customer,” said Vail. “It’s huge because the stuff we put out is good. It’s not junky or anything. We try to give the customer really good deals.”

To bring in shopaholics of all generations, the PSD is expanding its social media reach this year with two promotions. From now through July 25, the day before the sale, Facebook users can like the EnjoyBirminghamNow page for a chance to win a VIP Day on the Town prize package valued at $1,000. Items from ArtLoft, Astrein’s, BoConcept and other retailers will be included in the lot.

Then, on the big day, shoppers are encouraged to capture their experience in photos and upload the shots to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with #DayOnTh eTown for a chance to win a $100 gift certificate to the store they’re pictured in.

“It all really creates an atmosphere and adds a little interest,” said Heiney.

Day on the Town will be held 9 a.m.-7 p.m. July 26 in downtown Birmingham. All of the downtown Birmingham parking decks and meters will offer free parking for the event. For more information, visit www.www.EnjoyBirmingham.com or follow the PSD on Twitter @EnjoyBirminghamNOW. You can also call (248) 530-1200.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Tiffany Esshaki at tesshaki@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1095.