By Carol Bronson

Pratt’s annual downtown Sidewalk Sale has expanded to a community event on July 12. Merchants will bring some of their inventory out front, or entice customers inside with special prices.

The Pratt city fire department will grill 500 hamburgers and 100 hotdogs, with serving starting at 11:30, so there will be food “if you’re lucky enough to get there in time,” noted Kimberly Cline, executive director of the Pratt Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Lions Club will be there with their mini train, a group from Skyline School will sponsor a dunk tank, and the Pratt Public Library will set up a photo booth for pictures, with “Chocolate Factory” props, playing off the theme for the day. The Junior Leadership group will hold a carwash.

The Pratt Area Humane Society will bring animals for adoption in the morning, then take them back to shelter before it gets too hot. Society volunteers will hold a bake sale in the afternoon.

The day is being touted as “family fun and red hot deals.”

The red hot deals include not only special prices on merchandise, but the chance to win money. Each participating store will have a winning ticket and five golden tickets are worth $100 in Chamber Bucks.

The Leadership 2000 Class has been selling raffle tickets for $20 each, for items valued up to $400. Only 200 tickets will be sold, and drawing will be done at the Sidewalk Sale. Proceeds will help put a surveillance or monitoring camera in the Teen Center and purchase backpacks filled with educational games and activities for USD 382 preschoolers.

“We wanted it to be more of a community event, not just a sidewalk sale,” Cline said. “We wanted to get the community out to have fun.”

Other organizations have gotten into the community spirit as well.

The local unit of the Army National Guard will hold an open house from 10 to 3 p.m. They’ll also have equipment downtown that kids can climb on, according to Cline.

Epsilon Pi Chapter of Epsilon Sigma Alpha will hold its annual Extravaganza at the Pratt Municipal Building, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. A variety of merchandise including food items, jewelry, accessories, crafts, books and items from home-based business franchises will be displayed at 55 tables.

The chapter uses the event to support special projects. The Hope Center of Pratt has been selected for this year.

The Girl Scouts will sell concessions: coffee and doughnuts for early browsers and shoppers and a meal around noontime.

Green Sports Complex will be the site of a state Hap Dumont tournament and there will be a basketball tournament at the Blythe Family Center.

That evening, Pratt Young Professionals will show “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” as their third annual Movie in the Park. Activities and contests begin at 7 p.m. at Lemon Park, with the movie scheduled to begin at dusk, or around 9 p.m.