‘Sidewalk Days’ Brings the Downtown Duluth Area to Life

DULUTH, Minn — Sidewalk Days took over the streets of Duluth today.

This 3-day event showcases nearly 100 vendors and attracts more than four thousand people each year. It’s a booming event for downtown businesses, but what happens when they pack up, head back inside, and return to their day to day sales?

According to Ed Barbo, owner of Ed Barbo’s Columbia Clothing, “sidewalk days is our biggest promotion of the summer.” He went on to say that, “we’re ready to take care of people year-round. it’s a little more one-on-one on normal days, where here it’s hard to get to talk to everybody and what have you. but yeah you just get back to the normal routine and luckily that is good too.”

Sidewalk Days not only features Duluth businesses, but it also brings regional vendors into the area. “Especially after going through Covid and four years of construction on Superior Street, it’s nice to see things the new normal again,” said Barbo.

While the event is highly secured by local law enforcement, downtown Duluth has seen a recent surge in crime and has panhandlers on several corners, leaving some people in the community with safety concerns.

Barbo reports, “there has been a few events, and a few too many, but still in the long-scale 99% of the time everything has been good. We are not ignoring this, we have a meeting this Friday over at Security Jewelers with the Police Department. We’re working with the Mayor and we need to have a zero tolerance for any of this going on anywhere.”

Ed Barbo’s Columbia Clothing store just celebrated their 116th anniversary of being in business. He says that the local support has helped them reach this milestone.

As for another store in the downtown area, “this morning we’ve seen the most turnout that we’ve had in a long time, since probably Christmas time.” Said Ozzie Ramsey, a store associate at Namaste Gifts and Healing.

The  shop says that events like Sidewalk Days are important to the livelihood of Duluth. “I’m happy to see peoples faces again in a safe environment too. Seeing more faces and more people on the streets is better than seeing none,” Ramsey stated.

If you weren’t able to stop out today, you can still get your outdoor shopping fix as retailers will line the streets through Friday.

 

 

 

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