Return of Westport's sidewalk sale is 'all about the merchants'

WESTPORT — After a turbulent, pandemic-driven hiatus, Main Street was back in full swing Saturday, with local vendors leading the way back toward familiar happenings.

For the first time, the street was closed off for a fresh incarnation of the open-air annual Sidewalk Sale, organized by the Westport Downtown Association.

“This is definitely a celebration of Westport returning to normal,” said Jacqui Bidgood, events director.

Dozens of merchants had their wares for sale outdoors, while some sellers from adjacent shopping centers — such as Sconset Square — were provided space to sell along the closed-off strip.

Bidgood said this year they wanted to make it more of a street fair experience, with live music offered near the corner of Elm Street, and food and drink available from vendors.

“As far as we know, this is might be the first time the street is closed for this,” she said.

“This event that we do downtown is really all about the merchants,” explained Emma Rojas, communications director with the WDA. “This is really a give-back to them.”

Merchants, meanwhile, try to make the sale alluring for customers, with prices marked down and a range of sale items on display. Stores with wares to sale along the street included Vineyard Vines, J. Crew, Madewell and others.

“We didn’t do it last year because of COVID,” Rojas said, but the hope is that going forward it may be a more community-driven, fair-like event.

“We love sidewalk sales,” said Leslie Street of Westport, a native of town who came to shop with her sister, Corynne Colfax, now of Norwalk.

“We wait for it every year,” Colfax said.