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It's Crazy, Man!

Aug 01, 2011 05:53PM ● By Anonymous

Crazy Days is Chestertown's annual sidewalk sale. Shops and boutiques all over the historic district set up tents and tables outside. Some make signs, and some just throw all of their merchandise out in front of their stores, hoping that that will be enough of a draw. It usually is.

The sales they offer are ridiculous. Designer dresses marked down to 25%, two for the price of one books, green patent leather heels for two dollars. I'm trying to refrain from describing them as crazy, but really, they are.

But the town doesn't stop at that. After all, they advertise the event as "not just your average sidewalk sale." Instead, they fill it with events, special visitors and the ever-popular fair food. This year, Crazy Days shoppers could snack on funnel cakes, sweet and hot sausages and enormous fish sandwiches from the Mt. Olive AMC Church. Patty the Clown painted kids' faces, and, though I didn't see him, word on the street was that McGruff the crime dog had made an appearance.

And, at around noon, I was lucky enough to witness the kids' hot dog eating contest in Fountain Park. It drew quite a crowd, and as the emcee announced the final minute of the contest, observers immediately started cheering for their favorite contestant. It was certainly entertaining, but I could only stomach so much. I decided to do some shopping.

As I wandered the streets, I overheard lots of conversations. Two women who hadn't seen each other in a while exchanged hugs.

"So, what are you doing today?"

"Oh, just out shoppin' the sales!"

Once, as I was taking a picture of a gallery, a passerby stopped to tell me, "It's crazy cool in there!" Thanks for the note.

Unfortunately for me, (but good for all the rest of the bargain-hunters) I could only get to the last part of this three-day event. That meant that the majority of the clothing in my size had been sold, and with flippers like mine I had no hope for shoes. I am, however, a book-lover, and so I couldn't resist picking up one of the 2 for 1 grab bags that the Compleat Bookseller had sitting outside.

I lingered over ones labeled mystery, thought briefly about biography and had to ask about "literature--writing." But, I wound up going for fiction. Two books for $6.25? Fine by me. I took them home, ripped open the white paper back, and found two paperbacks inside: The Ballad of Pinewood Lake by Jory Sherman and The Blue Knight by Joseph Wambaugh. Hmm.