Krazy Daze - July 12, 13 & 14, 2019
Originally introduced by the retail division of the Manitowoc Chamber of Commerce, Krazy Daze has been a Manitowoc tradition for 60 years!
When Krazy Daze first appeared on Wednesday July 15th,1959 it was the largest sale event in all of Northeastern Wisconsin. The original event was designed to be a huge city wide sale.
The sale had been in the planning stages for two years and was kicked off with a bus trip to Green Bay to appear on the "Marianne Show'' on WFRV. Over a dozen representatives from local businesses boarded a bus from Safeway Motor Coaches to help promote the event at the show. Represented on the bus were people from many businesses including, Schuette Bros., BF Goodrich, Hessel Music House, Culligan Softwater, Sigman's Apparel & Curtain Shop, Rahr's, Boston Store, JC Penney's, Otto Kueche Co., JJ Stangel Hardware, Huchthausen Hardware Co., WY Grant Co., Johnson Electric Shop, Napp Office & School Supply and Sears, Roebuck Co.
All the participating stores changed their store hours from 9am to 9pm for the special one day sale which was originally called "Krazy Sal Daz.'' Store clerks dressed in humorous costumes to add color to the event. The retail division of the Chamber of Commerce encouraged store owners to decorate their windows just for the special one day event.
Mechanical kiddy rides were set up on York and Jay Streets between 8th and 9th street. Pony rides were offered in the parking lot of Park Plaza and the day concluded with a street dance in the Park Plaza parking lot. The Oscar Meyer Weiner mobile made a showing at the event as well!
For a number of years Krazy Sal Daz had a parade and a contest for those who were dressed in costume. Trips to Mackinac Island and the World's Fair were also given away as part of the celebration in the first few years of the event.
Also in the early years, there was also a 'no parking' ban in effect on Washington St. from S. 8th to 11th St. and on 8th St. from Washington to Chicago St.!
Restaurants and taverns were encouraged to set up sidewalk cafes for shoppers. The first event was a huge success and merchants were already planning the next years event before the day was over, as reported the next day in the Herald Times Reporter, "the sidewalks were over-flowing with shoppers carrying packages!" and it was reported that many of the advertised specials sold out quickly, but that deals were still to be found until the end of the sale.
Through the years the name was changed to Krazy Daze and in 2008 the event was moved from Wednesday to Saturday so more working people and families could attend and for a few years the name was changed to Krazy 'Satur'daze, to help everyone remember the change!
Pre-sale Friday and Sunday Sales at select locations were added in 2015 when SubFest was introduced by the Manitowoc Maritime Museum and both continue today!
As shopping habits have changed, Krazy Daze has tried to offer fun activities for the family, in addtion to finding bargains in store and on the sidewalk, the Library and Farmers' Market also provide a fun venue for shoppers. After 60 years, the tradition continues and shoppers make it a well-attended downtown event!