I think we can all agree that “Crazy Days” is an understatement of what the current business climate has been as of late. Difficult waters to navigate is putting it mildly.

It is in uncertain times, that tradition and familiarity can be an anchor to help us weather the storms of business life.

Crazy Days is not only the descriptor of what we’ve all been experiencing in recent months, but for many Alexandrians, Crazy Days also inspires fond memories of perusing downtown Alexandria in the last month of summer. For many, the annual downtown tradition signals the beginning of a new school year, the beginning of the change of seasons. An annual shopping event that goes as far back 60 years, Crazy Days was at risk of being canceled this year, for obvious reasons.

Alexandria Downtown Merchants Association is happy to announce Crazy Days will go on! A small win against Corona! In accordance with social distancing measures and mask mandates, businesses will proceed with a long-standing tradition for downtown Alexandria.

Lonnie Hanson from Bon Jos remembers making the day trip to shop Crazy Days in the earlier years. An event she has not only seen grow, but she helped cultivate, as a member of the board of directors and the Events Committee Chair for Alexandria Downtown Merchants Association. With such knowledge and history, this Crazy Days for Hanson takes on a whole new meaning.

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Angelica Garcia from Trend & Couture and Deja Bleu, says this long standing annual tradition of Crazy Days is something she looked forward to as a child every year. “Crazy Days meant I would get up early to go shopping downtown with my Grandma! We made a morning of it. We’d get a donut and milk from Roer’s and then walk all over downtown. The next day, I would do it all over again with my Auntie! Now I get to work at one of the downtown businesses during Crazy Days. I get to be a part of this tradition for some, that’s awesome!”

For me, the owner of Trend & Couture and Deja Bleu, it’s somewhat surreal to be on the business side of Crazy Days now. Before owning a business, shopping Crazy Days was an annual tradition for me, my niece and my nephews. It was a day we planned out a year in advance, where were we going for breakfast and lunch. Much chatter surrounded the anticipation of great deals! It was more about spending time together, doing something fun as it was about preparing for back to school.

Now as a business owner, Crazy Days has taken on a whole new meaning. Crazy Days now means an opportunity to work with fellow business owners to collaboratively market our businesses. It means being a part of tradition and a group of business owners that have worked hard over many years to build downtown Alexandria into a shopping destination. Just this weekend, a young family traveling from New York to Montana expressed how beautiful downtown Alexandria is. They made mention of how unique the shops are, all neat and tidy with reasonably priced items. It’s something the association has worked very hard to achieve – an inviting, hip and trendy downtown.

It goes without saying, the association is excited to invite our local community and beyond to Crazy Days in Downtown Alexandria – an event that is host to storewide sales throughout downtown businesses. This is an opportunity to snag new arrivals at a discount; think fall trends! Spring and summer items are at an all-time low; “Inventory Blowout!” Crazy Days begins this Thursday, Aug. 6 and goes through Saturday, Aug. 8. Many stores are open early at 8 a.m. We can’t wait to see you all! Watch our Instagram and Facebook page for updates.

Patty Dusing is a business owner and serves on the board of directors for the Alexandria Downtown Merchants Association. In the Know is a rotating column written by community leaders from the Douglas County area.