Guttenberg merchants to hold "Crazy Day" sales

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This photo from 1966 shows shoppers crowded around merchandise tables in front of The Style Shop at Guttenberg's first Maxwell Street Days – a summer sale event. (Press photo)

By Caroline Rosacker

Guttenberg merchants are set to hold their annual "Crazy Day" sales event on Saturday, Aug. 7, from 8 a.m. to closing. The discount sales will include merchandise displayed inside and outside of participating businesses. 

"Most stores will be open at 8 a.m. and sales will be held inside and out," said Brandie Tomkins, Guttenberg Chamber of Commerce Director.  "The Guttenberg Motel is also sponsoring a youth fishing tournament, and there will be a petting zoo at the Farmer's Market from 8 a.m. - noon. Main Street Sno-Balls shaved ice food truck, from McGregor, will park by the town clock at 10 a.m. and be selling delicious snow cones in flavors such as root beer float, Almond Joy, cotton candy and strawberry short cake. These snow cones are made with melt-in-your-mouth shaved ice, not little pebbles like we are used to."

Sidewalk sale history

In 1966, a summer sale was held in Guttenberg called "Maxwell Street Sidewalk Sale." In 1967, the event made front page news. 

"For the second successive year, Guttenberg business places will conduct their annual Maxwell Street Sidewalk Sale..."

Business places taking part in the sale were Ever's Royal Blue; Guttenberg Pharmacy; Kuempel Hardware; The Style Shop; Town & Country Carpet & Furniture; Kuempel Plumbing; Webster TV Sales; Brown's Ford Sales; Murray's Super Valu; Peoples Natural Gas; Esser's Shoe and Clothing; Gull's Jewelers; The Toggery; Jerry's Western Auto; Ever's Skogmo Department Store; Kunzman Motor Company; Schroeder Hardware; and Klaes Implement. 

Maxwell Street Sales draws it name from the street by the same name in Chicago which was known for the special deals and activities retailers on that street promoted. The Guttenberg sale name has changed throughout the years to include "Ridiculous Days,", "Crazy Days" and "Sidewalk Sales." Shelia Tomkins, longtime resident and Guttenberg Press editor, remembered the annual sale. "I recall shopping at the summer sale," said Tomkins. "My classmates who lived out in the country would come into town to attend the sale. It was fun meeting them on the sidewalk to visit about our summer and the upcoming school year."  

2021 summer sale

The following paid advertisers will be open for business and offering discount prices. 

Kuempel Hardware, located at 430 S. River Park Dr., will be open from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. "We are offering deep discounts on pre-mixed quarts of paint, and have a wide variety of merchandise for sale," said a salesperson. "Stop in and see what we have! You never know what you'll find!"

Blooming Branches, located at 511 S. 1st St. will be open from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.  The florist/gift/coffee shop will offer 50% off all clothing and 50% off of any one item in the store, excluding consignment, fresh flowers and plants. 

Esser's Shoe & Clothing and Connie's Apparel, located at 502 S. River Park Dr. will be open from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. "Our sales event falls on Iowa's no-tax holiday, increasing discounts even further," said Matt Esser, store owner. Esser's is offering up to 75% off sidewalk specials and most in-store clothing will be sold at 1/2 price. Under Armour apparel and all shoes will be 20% off. "Stop in a check out our large selection of merchandise, and take advantage of the sales tax holiday," said Esser.

GEM - Guttenberg Embroidery & More, located at 602 S. River Park Dr. will be open from 8 a.m. - noon and is offering sales inside and out with up to 50% off. 

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