People crowd Front Street during the 2019 Downtown Traverse City Street Sale.

TRAVERSE CITY — Two blocks of State Street have vehicles going in both directions.

Two blocks of Front Street have none.

So of course the Downtown Traverse City Association’s annual Street Sale was bound to change in 2020.

Traditionally the first Friday in August, a modified Street Sale will instead last a week. And it won’t be in the street.

The modified Street Sale will run Aug. 3-9. All sales will be inside of the shops, according to a release from the DTCA. There will be no tables, no tents and no products for sale in the street or on the sidewalk.

So with shoppers having to go inside stores, it made sense to extend the number of days.

“I’m willing to adapt for our new normal,” said Amanda Walton, store manager at Toy Harbor, 221 E. Front St.

The decision to alter the annual Street Sale was a way to limit large public gatherings and enhance safety because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision was made by the Traverse City Downtown Development Authority and the DTCA after consulting with the retailers and the Grand Traverse County Health Department.

Walton said it was the right decision.

“Obviously we’re sad to see the normal tradition of the Street Sale change this year, but I’m super pleased because I think it’s the responsible thing to do,” Walton said. “I think it’s the correct decision.”

The DTCA will promote sales of participating businesses on social media. Decorative flags will also mark downtown businesses that are part of the sale.

“With the resilience of our merchants, the experience of the DDA staff and DTCA Board, and the support of our local community, we hope the modifications to the Street Sale will see an outpouring of support that will allow our businesses to stay safe to stay open,” DTCA President Susan Fisher said in the release. “The safety of our community is paramount in this decision, and we are appreciative of the guidance from the Grand Traverse Health Department and DDA staff.”

“I think it will be different, but it will be great to get people down here and support the local businesses,” Walton added.

More information on the Street Sale and its modifications is available at or on the downtown Traverse City Facebook page.

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