Kent Sidewalk Sale Days draws shoppers, spotlights businesses, nonprofits

Photo of Sandra Diamond Fox

KENT — More than a dozen merchants and nonprofit organizations displayed their services this week in downtown Kent at the Kent Sidewalk Sale Days.

The event, sponsored by the Kent Chamber of Commerce, will continue through Sunday. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine. Over the course of the four days, Sidewalk Sale Days draws thousands, according to store owners and Kent First Selectman Jean Speck.

Jeff Kennedy, owner of Foreign Cargo on Main Street, had merchandise on display outside his store.

“My mother started this store in 1971. We sell a very “eclectic mix,” he said, which includes clothing, antiques, home decor, tribal art, handicrafts. The items were imported from all around the world.

“I grew up in Asia and Africa,” Kennedy said. “My father was a medical doctor and he worked in public health in our foreign aid program for 27 years.”

At a booth on the Kent Green was Nancy Rowe, director of marketing and public relations at RVNAHealth, a Medicare-certified home health care agency. The agency recently merged with New Milford Visiting Nurse and Hospice and Bethel VNA, “so now we’re one organization,” said Rowe, in regard to the nonprofit.

“In Kent, we primarily do visiting nursing and in-home health, and then we also do chronic care management, which is helping people who manage chronic conditions,” said Rowe, adding they also provide flu clinics, and COVID-19 vaccines.

Terston, a women’s clothing store that also sells home items and accessories, also had a large display outside, as well as the Chestnut Woodworking & Antique Flooring Co. Showroom.

At a Kent Lions Club booth, Bonnie Jo Cheron, an officer at the club, said the organization fundraises and makes donations to local organizations.

The club is now involved in the Great Cycle Challenge USA to help fight childhood cancer; the event will take place in September. Riders can select the number of miles they would like to ride and either ride with a team or as an individual.

“Last year, I rode 500 miles, raising $4,000 as a team,” said Cheron, who plans to ride again this year.

Proceeds go to finding a cure for childhood cancer and toward treatment costs.

“Someone that sponsored me last year, her granddaughter was a recipient and it was so good to hear the story about this child,” she said.

Ellen Corsell, owner of Heron American Craft Gallery, said the business started 35 years ago as a contemporary craft gallery and has evolved over the years.

“We are a mix of specialty toys and unusual clothing,” she said.

“The purpose of Kent Sidewalk Sale Days is for businesses to spotlight their business,” said Speck. “There’s a lot of traffic here on Route 7. We have a lot of tourists who this is a destination for them. They have built a following.”

Speck added it’s also a time for retailers to move through other merchandise that they want to put on sale and to have that extra space for the sales.

New businesses in Kent that opened within the year include Sportsmen’s Connection, Wilson’s by High Watch, Sophie’s, and Woodford’s General Store. Opening soon is Wilson’s Cafe, which will provide opportunities for former guests and alumni of High Watch to be employed.

“It’s truly a destination,” Speck said of Summer Sales.

sfox@milfordmirror.com