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updated: 7/27/2011 12:42 PM

It's sidewalk sale time in downtown Wheaton

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By Megan Bannister

Brightly colored balloons will mark the Wheaton stores where fashionistas and summer shoppers alike can score discounts this weekend.

"This year we have more businesses participating than ever before," said Downtown Wheaton Association Manager Max Williams.

More than 30 small businesses, from downtown boutiques to Carlson's True Value Hardware and a number of local salons, will participate in the 2011 Downtown Wheaton Sidewalk Sale.

"It's a really nice sampling of just about everything downtown Wheaton offers," Williams said.

Held during normal business hours Thursday through Saturday, July 28 to 30, Williams describes the annual summer shopping shindig as "one of seven signature events" in the downtown area.

"Essentially, they put out all the merchandise right on the sidewalk," he said. "It's just a nice, festive way to shop and enjoy downtown Wheaton."

Previously, the event was hosted from Friday to Sunday, but due to Sunday closings at many businesses, the Downtown Wheaton Association changed the event dates to increase foot traffic.

Especially for Saturday shoppers, Williams urges individuals to arrive early and enjoy Wheaton's French Market from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. for flowers, baked goods and more.

"It's a fantastic opportunity to shop local and support our local businesses," Williams said.