The sidewalk sales and street fair are back this weekend, which promise to be bigger and better than ever, along with a city-wide celebration, and maybe one of the best not-so-secret spots to find deals on books, music and DVDs.

Rutland

“We are expecting this to be the biggest street party in many years,” said Nikki Hindman, marketing and events coordinator for the Downtown Rutland Partnership.

The Street Party and Sidewalk Sales are an end-of-summer tradition more than 50 years old, and this year it falls on Saturday, Aug. 24, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with an open-air market that covers lower Center Street to Merchants Row. Full of sale tents, vendors, food trucks, live music and games, many businesses along the way will have outdoor dining.

“I think it will be even bigger and better than last year,” Hindman said. “We made great strides to improve the event by adding giant games and just making it an overall kid-friendly event.”

Not only has the number of food trucks increased, new ones have been added, including trucks from The Skinny Pancake and Sustainable Eats. The popular Simply Asian food truck will be returning from last year, among others.

“We are also adding performances,” Hindman said. “Linda Peck is a juggler, tightrope-walker and balloon artist that will be entertaining people from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in front of the Paramount Theater. We also hired IGE Entertainment from New York City, and they will be arriving with Mimery and magic to walk the streets and perform.”

With more than 80 vendors and merchants participating Hindman said a large turnout is expected of around 2,000 people.

“There are 2200 interested on Facebook at this time, so we’re hoping word will travel like wildfire this year,” she said, and added, “Our focus on the one day improves the quality of the event and the amount of vendors we bring, so we hope the public will come check it out and score some great deals while they have fun with family and friends.”

For more information, go online to www.downtownrutland.com.

Chittenden

That same day is also Chittenden Day, when Barstow Elementary School is transformed with food and family activities, like the Bobcat Bolt at 8:30 a.m., the parade at noon, a barbecue at 1 and 5 p.m. and fireworks at 8:45. Entertainment and live music includes Cannonball Express at 1 p.m., Woodchuck’s Revenge at 3 p.m., the RHS Jazz Ensemble at 4 p.m. and Steve Spensley at 5 p.m. A silent auction, photo contest, pie tasting, crafts, games, and exhibits round out the event, which all takes place on Saturday.

Tinmouth

Every year I mark my calendar for the annual Tinmouth Library book sale in the Old Firehouse. If you like to read, or know someone who does, library book sales can be a treasure chest of unique finds and new and good-condition books for just a couple dollars. This year the Tinmouth sale takes place 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, with a room full of bins with every genre you can imagine – fiction, nonfiction, adventure, mystery, romance, children’s books and cook books. And the $2 bag sale returns from noon to 1:30 p.m. where you can fill a grocery bag with books for just two bucks.

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