July 29, 2010

Annual Sidewalk Days Hopes to Lure Big Crowd


The streets of Barrington will be bustling with vendors and shoppers this weekend during the Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce’s 33rd annual Sidewalk Days.


In addition to local vendors and retailers offering up to 75 percent discounts, the Chamber is promoting environmental friendliness, more activities for children and the second annual Barrington Sidewalk Days Chalk Art Festival throughout the weekend.


“Nothing is more important any time during the year than Sidewalk Days,” said Chamber President Janet Meyer. “It takes (local retailers) from surviving to thriving.”


Sidewalk Days will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today (Thursday) and Friday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in downtown Barrington, along Route 14, at the Ice House Mall and at the Foundry of Barrington shopping center.


Meyer said it is the oldest and largest event of its type in the suburbs. Over 200 businesses, clubs and organizations are expected to participate.


SoBe and 103.5 KISS-FM will have trucks in the Jewel-Osco parking lot on today (Thursday) and the Chamber will distribute coupon books featuring discounts at local retailers to the first 1,500 people who visit the Chamber’s booth at Hough and Main streets.


The Chamber is also promoting several activities in conjunction with its “Go Green!” campaign. Guest speaker Leslie Hander, from The Solid Waste Agency of Cook County, will hold interactive presentations for children from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today (Thursday) about ways they can recycle and be environmentally friendly in their daily lives.


In addition, Douglas Automotive, 312 S. Hager Ave., will be collecting used oil and car batteries for free during normal business hours throughout the weekend, Vintage Tech Recycling will be at Sidewalk Days on Saturday accepting used electronics such as computers, iPods, televisions and more to be recycled and WINGS (Women in Need Growing Stronger) will accept clothing and houseware donations on Saturday.


“If we’re going to say we’re an eco-friendly and ‘green’ Chamber, we need to incorporate that into Sidewalk Days,” Meyer said.


In addition, donations of school supplies that will be given to needy Barrington Community Unit School District 220 families will be accepted at the Chamber’s booth throughout the weekend. The Chamber is partnering with the Arboretum of South Barrington to donate the supplies.


Meyer said the Chamber also bolstered the number of children’s activities throughout the weekend. Children can visit with Sesame Street’s Elmo at the Ice House Mall, 200 Applebee St., on all three days, have their faces painted, participate in balloon painting and more. More information is available at


“Children are welcome to come and enjoy the activities while their parents are shopping,” Meyer said.


Children, families and other groups can also participate in the Barrington Chalk Art Festival on Thursday and Friday. Artists can participate as individuals or in groups and will be broken into categories and judged on their chalk creations on the sidewalks of Applebee Street.


“Our goal this year is to come (from the Ice House Mall) all the way to Main Street,” Meyer said.


The best creations will be recognized at 3 p.m. Friday at the Ice House Mall.