“It started as just a way to generate some excitement at the store and boost sales a little bit in a slow month,” says Grace Proctor Allison of Home Rule.
The Dog Days Sidewalk Sale was first started in 2000 by Allison’s boss, Greg Link. The first event featured just six businesses spread across a couple of blocks on 14th Street. Now, Dog Days produces some of the biggest sales of the year for seventy merchants up and down 14th — no mean feat in the Washington summer heat. The annual event, which takes place this Saturday and Sunday, has also become far more than just a sale: it’s now a full-on neighborhood festival.
“It’s a chance to celebrate the neighborhood and the small local businesses and the different things they offer,” says Diane Gross, who has organized Dog Days for the past five years. One of the first restaurants on what has become D.C.’s trendiest restaurant row, Gross’ Cork Wine Bar will open early and offer a happy hour menu all day long this weekend. Meanwhile, Cork Market will offer a wine sale and special wine tastings, plus lemonade, sandwiches and baked goods on the sidewalk. There will also be other events — including a photobooth, balloon twisting and face-painting — throughout the wider Mid City area, extending north past U Street, south to Logan Circle, and east to the newly transformed 8th Street area of North Shaw.
Current Boutique and Salt & Sundry will join Miss Pixie’s in offering 20% off everything — or, nearly everything, in the case of Logan Hardware. Meanwhile, U Street punk-inspired apparel-maker Rosies and Rockers will offer 30% off all its wares, while boutique Urban Essentials has at least 10% off its contemporary furnishings.
Home Rule will do what it’s done for sixteen years: Fill its sidewalk with racks and tables featuring clearance or seasonal products, all marked down half price. “There are people I only see once a year during Dog Days,” Allison says. “That’s when they come, because they know there’s going to be some great stuff out there.”
The 17th Annual Mid City Dog Days Sidewalk Sale is Saturday, Aug. 6, and Sunday, Aug. 7. Visit facebook.com/MidCityDogDays for full details of participants and promotions.
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