An early-morning shower departed the Evanston area Friday well before shops opened for the annual Sidewalk Sale by merchants in the Dempster-Chicago shopping district. The sale extends through Sunday.

Even though many of the shops were not scheduled to open until noon, the traditional folding tables began appearing on sidewalks throughout the district, such as the ones outside the Squeezebox Books and Music Store, at 1235 Chicago Ave., that features used books and music CDs.

“Buy 1 Get 1 Free” signs adorn the tables outside Squeezebox Books and Music.

Cease Giddings, who, with her husband, Paul, are  proprietors of the Folk Works Gallery at 1310 1/2 Chicago Ave., perched herself outside their shop as early bargain hunters started picking through the merchandise. Her next-door neighbor, Lollies’s, at 1312 Chicago Ave., was at it as well.

Bargains await shoppers at Lollie’s

Meanwhile, Dawn Okamoto, around the corner in her shop, Secret Treasures, at 605 Dempster St., was busy picking out items to feature outside her shop when it opens for business Saturday morning. Her “treasures” typically attract lines of shoppers when the weather cooperates, as the weatherman promised it would.

Secret Treasures owner Dawn Okamoto anticipates a crowd at her shop on Saturday

And down the street, at Murphy’s Fit, the signs on the window heralded the much-anticipated sale.

Signs point the way to the action at Murphy’s Fit shoe store

Although the Federal government reported an anemic 1.5 percent growth in the nation’s Gross National Product for last quarter, Evanston merchants were confident that such a report presages a satisfying turnout as local residents look for bargains that will enhance their lifestyles with a minimum outlay of cash. 

Top: Shoppers Hosanna Krienke, left, and Annalese Duprey examine goods for sale in front of Folk Works Gallery.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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