'Crazy Days': Downtown business celebration set for Friday and Saturday

“We are trying to re-establish our downtown area," said April Stromer, vice president or the Historic Pierre Street Association.

Hoping to reinvigorate the downtown retail environment that has been rocked by COVID-19 for several months, more than two dozen businesses are joining for the Historic Pierre Street Association’s newest Crazy Days celebration.

It is set for 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday, June 19-20.

“We are trying to re-establish our downtown area. We are big supporters of shopping local, and shopping small businesses,” association Vice President April Stromer said. “We have a lot to offer in the downtown area.”

April Stromer and her husband, Shad, are the owners, for about a year now, of the Alley Exchange, one of the small businesses participating in this event.

“I helped instigate this particular crazy days thing,” Stromer said. “The Alley Exchange remained open during COVID, and we were hurting. The whole downtown area was hurting. We came up with this event, and asked others on the street to join.”

The free draw during the event includes hot dogs, water, music, food sampling, wine tasting, a professional photo of one’s dog, and more. Other celebration items for sale include theater popcorn and ice cream, for starters. The sidewalks on South Pierre Street will feature tables and racks of merchandise, with many items at reduced prices.

The list of participating small businesses totals around two dozen. They are fighting to keep small businesses, particularly those downtown, a thriving part of the community.

“It is sad that downtown is no longer filled with parked cars, and people walking up and down our street,” Stromer said. “We are trying to bring that back.”

The association’s president is Don Boyd. The main annual crazy days event is is set for Aug. 7-8. Each business attempts to conduct its own sales throughout the year. The Alley Exchange has enhanced its men’s department, while officials are planning a wine walk for October.

“We encourage people to get out and have fun, while they are shopping and supporting small business and local business,” Stromer said.

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