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Weekend Shopping Event Aims To Revive Madison Avenue

Patch logo Patch 9/9/2020 Nick Garber
a car parked on a city street: The event, Welcome Back Saturdays, will take place on three Saturdays along three stretches of Madison Avenue, starting this coming Saturday, Sept. 12, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. © Courtesy Madison Avenue BID The event, Welcome Back Saturdays, will take place on three Saturdays along three stretches of Madison Avenue, starting this coming Saturday, Sept. 12, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — After the pandemic brought one of the world's most popular shopping streets to a standstill, a new initiative aims to bring foot traffic back to Madison Avenue's shops retailers through discounts, outdoor dining and more.

The event, Welcome Back Saturdays, will take place on three Saturdays along three stretches of Madison Avenue, starting this coming Saturday, Sept. 12, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sixty retailers are participating, and 52 restaurants along the avenue will offer outdoor dining, according to the Madison Avenue Business Improvement District, which organized the event.

Since retailers were first allowed to reopen for curbside pickup in June, Madison Avenue business owners have been meeting regularly to plan how to welcome customers back to their stores, Matthew Bauer, President of the Madison Avenue BID, told Patch.

The onset of fall and the reopening of schools made September "the ideal time to officially roll out the red carpet and welcome folks back to the shops on Madison Avenue," Bauer said.

"It feels like it’s a point of renewal, a point of new beginnings," he added.

Perks will include significant discounts and special offers at clothing and jewelry stores, and the opportunity to meet designers or consult with personal shoppers.

a close up of a map: To create a festive atmosphere, the avenue's trees will be decorated by the Retail Design Institute. (Courtesy of Madison Avenue BID) © Provided by Patch To create a festive atmosphere, the avenue's trees will be decorated by the Retail Design Institute. (Courtesy of Madison Avenue BID)

To create a festive atmosphere, the avenue's trees will be decorated by the Retail Design Institute — who also decorate many of the area's shop windows — and mask-wearing a cappella singers will serenade passersby.

The Sept. 12 event will take place along Madison between 57th and 67th Streets. The next installment will be Sept. 26, between 67th and 77th streets, followed by Oct. 3 between 77th and 86th streets.

Business reopenings are more than an economic concern, Bauer noted — they help a neighborhood feel vibrant and welcoming, especially following a harrowing spring in New York City. Organizers hope Welcome Back Saturdays will remind residents that Madison's businesses are dedicated to the Upper East Side, even in difficult times.

“We’re committed to this neighborhood, we’re committed to you," Bauer said. "Come by!"

See here for more information about the Sept. 12 event, including participating businesses.

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