Clinton businesses drew hundreds of shoppers Saturday as the merchants’ association held its first sidewalk sale since before the coronavirus restrictions went into effect in March.
“On behalf of the Historic Downtown Clinton TN Merchants Association, THANK YOU to everyone that came out today and shopped downtown,” the group posted Saturday evening on its Facebook page.
Most of the antiques stores were open, and many had sidewalk displays -- including Hoot’s Corner, where co-owner Shelly Routh was outside greeting potential customers most of the day.
“It’s been busy all day,” she said. “My husband was out setting up starting around 9 a.m. and people were already coming by, even though the event was not supposed to start until 10.”
That showed her that people were ready to get out of their homes and do something fun after nearly three months of COVID-19 orders that closed businesses considered by the state to be “non-essential,” and urged people to stay in their homes.
“Today is exactly what the city and our merchants needed,” said Routh, who opened Hoot’s Corner at 362 Market Street last year with her husband, Lee. “I can’t wait for everything to get back into full swing.
“This is our first storefront,” she said. “We started out with just a booth in an antique store in Middle Tennessee. But we love having this store in Clinton. People here have been so good to us.”
Angel Massey and her son Grayson, along with Mary Dillman, were browsing at Hoot’s Corner shortly after noon Saturday, and Massey said they were glad to be able to get out of the house for a change and find something fun to do.
“It’s great that they’re having this today,” she said.
Laura Roop at Clinch River Mercantile, across the railroad tracks on Eagle Bend Road, used the merchants’ association’s Facebook page to post videos urging people to come downtown on Saturday. She also invited people to visit the Hawg Dawgs food truck in the parking lot of Clinch River Mercantile.