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Sidewalk Sale Days return to Kent, Conn., from Aug. 4 to 7. This photo is from last summer’s sales. Photo by Lans Christensen

Waxing Poetic Over the Delights Of Kent’s Summer Sidewalk Sale

Summer Sales

Life in our region has been changed by COVID-19 and by the advent of many new homeowners, some of whom bring new traditions and customs to a part of the world that loves Doing Things the Old-Fashioned Way.

But one thing that everyone can get behind is summer sales, which are fun for everyone, a good boost for struggling small businesses and an excellent excuse to get out of the house and visit someplace new — and perhaps acquire some friends and acquaintances in the process. Everyone is friendly and in a good mood at a summer sale, unless of course you snatch a one-of-a-kind item from the hands of an eager shopper. Shopping can be a competitive sport.

The annual Sidewalk Sale Days in Kent, Conn., offer a mix of old and new, one-of-a-kind and multiple editions.  It is a bonafide day trip for many residents of the northern portion of our region, who treat Kent as something of an exotic expedition. And there are several excellent vendors of food, including the relatively new Wilson’s by High Watch, on Main Street, and the old favorite, Kent Coffee and Chocolate at the northern end of town. The Villager coffee shop is straight out of the Gilmore Girls — without irony, just good food and friendly faces.

Kent has books, books, books, which have sadly become sort of a rare sighting in our small towns. Older (and some new) books of all shapes, sizes and topics are available outdoors from the Kent Memorial Library throughout the summer. More pristine editions are found at the southern end of town at House of Books, which is back in its original building after extensive renovations.

Kent has long been famous for its boutique art galleries and for its shops with artisan and craft items. In addition to the permanent shops in the village there will be several sales of work by local artists, including some renowned ceramic artists.

In the past few years, some new stores have opened; in the Kent tradition most offer things that look nice, smell nice and feel nice — to your hands and to your soul.

Group tag sales are the best tag sales. The one at St. Andrew’s Church at the southern end of town is always one of the best of the year, featuring large and small items that are useful and/or decorative. This year the church community is joined by the Roger Sherman Chapter DAR.

There is all this and, of course, so much more. Essentially the entire village is taking part in this Chamber of Commerce event. Hop in the car, leave lots of space in the trunk and keep in mind that there is still a national shortage of coins. Small denomination dollar bills are also helpful.


The annual Kent Sidewalk Sale Days are scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 4, through Sunday, Aug. 7. For more information and a schedule of sales and events, go to www.kentct.com.

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