Greencastle Sidewalk Days has something for everyone
Debby Cunningham is not new to Greencastle Sidewalk Days, but she is new to being on the planning side.
"A lot more goes into it than you think," said Cunningham, the new executive director of the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce.
"Everything comes together thanks to a true team effort," Cunningham said, citing the chamber, the Borough of Greencastle and sponsors.
She spent the last two months working alongside Valerie Meyers, outgoing executive director, to prepare for the 54th annual event held Friday and Saturday, July 9 and 10.
Longtime Greencastle residents Lanny and Mary Jane Carbaugh were among those strolling the streets lined with vendors on Friday.
"We saw a lot of people we know who we haven't seen in a while," she said.
"Things look normal ... people are walking around smiling," he added.
Sidewalk Days returned to downtown Greencastle after a year's hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic. With parts of Baltimore and South Carlisle streets closed to traffic, people could browse at their leisure, grab a bit to eat at tables shaded by umbrellas placed around Center Square, enjoy music and demonstrations and just have a good time.
The younger set
Jace Myers, 8, of Greencastle, was a thoughtful shopper as he picked out his purchases at Awesome Minis. He was interested in the Marvel superhero War Machine, as well as figures from "Sonic the Hedgehog" and "Star Wars," including Baby Yoda.
Jen Grioli of St. Thomas, who also does mail order, has sold the Lego-compatible little figures at a couple of previous Sidewalk Days and was happy for the breeze on Friday. Thousands of miniatures from the movies, television, cartoons and pop culture were lined up in rows on her tables.
Greencastle brothers Colby Lewis, 7, and Eli Lewis, 5, were ferocious-looking tigers after visiting the face-painting stand.
Three-year-old Caleb Beckman and his Pap, Matthew Bigham, both of Greencastle, visited with the animals in the Baby Barnyard set up by the Franklin County Junior Fair Board as a sample of what they are offering this week at the fair.
A group of siblings was on the selling side of the table outside their home on South Carlisle Street. Mother Anya Monn said the kids wanted to earn some special money, have been planning for about a month and each found something to sell.
Bryce Wilson, 12, collected golf balls from the yard of a friend who lives near a golf course, cleaned them up and had them for sale in bins. Ace Monn, 10, and Cash Monn, 15, got a lesson in baking the night before and offered up cookies, Rice Krispie treats and brownies.
Anya Monn sold "sky socks," white socks tie-dyed light blue to look like the sky and clouds.
Heidi Monn, 13, made bracelets, and Morgan Wilson, 15, sewed scrunchies. Colton Wilson, 9, completed the lineup with football cards and crystals.
Morgan's money is earmarked for the family's upcoming vacation at the Outer Banks, Colton has stuff he wants to buy on Amazon, and the others thought they would spend what they made during Sidewalk Days or save it.
A family event
The young entrepreneurs weren't the only family on the block.
My Heart's Desire freelance artist Mary Bock of Greencastle displayed her jewelry and artwork and son Ian Bock was handling the business end of her sales. Friend Austin Lord, a freelance illustrator, brought stickers, T-shirts, postcards, keychains and pins that he also sells on Etsy.
Mary Bock said she reconnected with art during the pandemic time at home. She called it good therapy that, along with yard work, helped her stay sane.
Marty Zimmerman was joined by his mother Marcie as he sold his photos of flowers, local scenes and Gettysburg as standalone pieces as well as on mugs, notecards and postcards.
On the other side of South Carlisle Street, Pastor Fred Keener was on hand to represent Greencastle Church of the Brethren. Keener, who grew up in the Hagerstown area and was a radio announcer on Greencastle's WKSL in the last half of the 1970s, returned to the area this year after 34 years at Bristolville Church of the Brethren in Ohio.
He was joined by Don and Anna Heckman, leaders of the church's Celebrate Recovery ministry. Celebrate Recovery meets every Thursday evening to help people with "hurts, habits or hangups."
The Heckmans explained Celebration Place for children and The Landing for teens are held at the same time.
Keener and the Heckmans gave out free water and ice pops as "our small gift to you" while offering "God's huge gift ... forgiveness and eternal life through His Son, Jesus Christ."
While the Church of the Brethren has been in Greencastle for many years, representatives of the community's newest church also were in town during Sidewalk Days with their message #BUILDTHECASTLE.
The Greencastle campus of Chambersburg's Grand Point Church will launch on Sept. 12 out of the banquet room at B Street 104.
"We are the church that loves people," said Pastor Mike Carey. "We haven't opened yet, but we want people to know we're here for the community. We're here, we love you."
He said the church is about building relationships within neighborhoods, businesses and other churches.
Visiting Angels also is about building relationships with clients and their families. The home care agency has participated in Sidewalk Days for five or six years, and "it's always a great couple of days for us," said Michelle Gilfus, office manager.
"We need to get our name out to let people know we're here to help keep their family members at home," Gilfus said. She noted that especially with the COVID-19 pandemic, people want to keep their loved ones out of nursing homes and rehab facilities.
Shopping for shoes
The COVID-19 pandemic also affected ELM Shoes, where shoppers looked for bargains, true to the event's name, out on the sidewalk.
They found a smaller-than-usual selection this year, according to owner Loren Martin.
Sidewalk Days wasn't held last year, but ELM Shoes and neighboring ELM Department Store still set up sale tables outside their businesses on Center Square the second weekend in July 2020. ELM Shoes was closed for a month and a half during the pandemic so there were lots of shoes to be sold.
This year, there is less inventory on hand as shoe vendors are running out of merchandise, Martin said.
He also explained he may have overreacted, ordering fewer dress shoes this year, predicting people would go for casual footwear while working from home.
"It's good to be on the safe side," said Martin, who added he also did not anticipate the number of people who would be shopping for dressy shoes for all the weddings that were postponed from last year.