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Crazy Daze in DL set for Aug. 5

Some seasonal items will also pop up during the event, as will non-summer items like jeans and other merchandise that store managers want to get rid of in order to make room for fresh, fall inventory. DL NEWSPAPERS/Brian Basham

It’s time to get crazy.

Crazy Daze in Detroit Lakes is set to hit the streets on Tuesday, Aug. 5.

“And early bird gets the worm,” said Washington Square Mall Manager Dawn Olson, who is helping chair this year’s event that goes from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“When you’re looking at 50-90 percent discounts, the earlier you’re here, the better selection you have to choose from.”

Standing with tradition, downtown businesses as well as a couple off the main drag are pulling their summer inventory off the shelves and into the streets.

“I don’t know what it is…why shopping off a street is so much more fun, but it just is,” laughed Norby’s Vice President Mary Beth Gilsdorf, who is co-chairing the event with Olson.

Gilsdorf says Detroit Lakes has been having Crazy Daze for as long as she can remember, and Norby’s (her family’s business), has always been a big part of it.

“And they’re always screamin’ deals,” she said. “We all have such deep discounts because once we haul it outside, nobody wants to bring it back in again, so we knock it all down.”

Roughly 40 businesses, including several from the mall, are participating in the event that is designed to make room for all new, fall inventory.

“The new stuff is barreling in fast, which I know is depressing because we waited so long for summer,” said Gilsdorf, “but we can get rid of a lot of stuff at one time, and the new stuff is fresh and exciting — we’re a slave to fashion.”

But although this event will feature mostly summer items, it will have other seasonal items as well. In some cases, it will feature fresh items ordered just for this day.

“Crazy Daze has been so successful for some of the store in the mall that they actually get merchandise shipped in from other stores to supplement their stock so that they have enough to sell,” said Olson.

This year, only the 800 block of Washington Avenue will be shut down to car traffic and the event will be confined to that street.

In addition to the merchandise, there will also be a couple of food vendors on hand to replenish shoppers’ energy.

“And one of them will be serving breakfast items this year, too, so plan to come hungry,” said Gilsdorf.

Mini-donuts, hot dogs, hamburgers and more will be available on the streets.

But if weather gets wet and ugly, the deals will not wither.

“We’ll just move everything inside, but the discounts will all be the same,” said Gilsdorf, who says they’ve been pretty lucky over the years in terms of weather.

“But we’re Minnesotans; we know we don’t have control.”

It won’t just be Minnesotans at the town’s largest one-day sale event though. Gilsdorf says not only do they get WE Festers who are rolling into town early, but they get calls every year from Canadians confirming what day this event is.

“Some of them plan their vacations around it,” said Gilsdorf, who says not that many communities can pull off these Crazy Daze events like Detroit Lakes can.

“And it ends up being a social event here, too,” said Gilsdorf. “You’ll see everybody here, so people will get a chance to chat with friends they haven’t seen in a while, shop and eat and be merry — it’s part of what makes small town living fun.”

For more information, call the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce at 218-847-9202.