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Bloomington-Normal businesses return to full capacity with weekend sales

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Businesses in Bloomington-Normal brought on the deals as they opened back up to full capacity Friday.

In Normal, some stores took to the streets in an Uptown Thrift Market to welcome people back to Normal.

Customers shopped the bargains, getting clothes, jewelry, and treats for up to 50% off.

"I feel like people are kind of lighter," said Jane Rupprecht, assistant manager at Uptown Gifts & Accessories. "They're happy. A lot of smiles and even thought it is basically hot out here today, people are really enjoying it."

Customers said they are excited to enjoy their favorite stores and events in the summer-like weather.

"It feels like we need to get together and everybody get vaccinated," said customer and event promoter Johnny Stokes. "We get the events going on. We get the events back happening. It's a lot of people that want to get out and enjoy themselves."

In Bloomington, shopkeepers said the pandemic brought several hurdles to their business. However, they credit loyal customers for getting them up and over.

Ginger Bowers of Ivy Lane Bakery said she is grateful for their support throughout the pandemic.

"When we were at lower capacities and when we were doing curbside and deliveries, they continued to keep us busy, especially through the Christmas season," Bowers said. "Were very thankful to them."

Owners are hoping the weekend sales draw in more business.

The Uptown Thrift Market will continue Saturday and Sunday.

Downtown Bloomington will host Saturday Sidewalk Sales where customers can also find bargains while enjoying the weather.

Darnysha Mitchell

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