Attending the Excelsior Crazy Days event has been a Twin Cities tradition for my family and many other hungry deal seekers for years. For three days each summer Excelsior merchants go crazy offering up the best bargains of the summer, and fun summer foods. This year it is taking place from July 21 through the 23rd.
Over the course of three days in addition to great shopping, you can go to the Farmer's Market, Excelsior Girl's Night Out, go on a Historic Walking Tour and let the kids blow off steam during the Kid's Day on the 23rd.
I'm not going to lie, for me Crazy Days is as much about crazy eating as it is crazy shopping. The key to a successful Crazy Days is having a game plan. After much contemplation I've made the decision to share mine. My Crazy Days game plan has been perfected over years.
Planning starts before you leave the house. First is the correct outfit. I like to wear a dress that is very roomy and forgiving in the waist area. Remember, you may be eating your weight in mini-donuts and cheese curds, and a protruding muffin top over a pair of fitted shorts is not a good look. Volatile flip flops from Ooh La La on Water St. are my go-to shoe for Crazy Days. They are extremely comfortable yet still fashionable, will keep my feet cool, and are easy to take on and off as I try shoes on at Avanti Shoe Boutique in the Excelsior Mill building.
I prefer to go alone or with one other person and then meet up for lunch with a group of friends. If you go with too many people it is harder to maneuver the sale tables, and a crowd of friends will slow you down. One wingman is not a bad idea as you may need backup if you reach for the same item as another shopper and things get nasty.
Next comes parking.
Arrive early, I like to get down there no later than 10 a.m. Arriving early also guarantees a prime parking spot in the city lot between 2nd and 3rd Street. Parking in the middle of the lot is key. This makes access to your vehicle convenient from almost anywhere, which you will need because the deals are so great. Multiple trips to and from you car to drop off your recently acquired treasures is a necessity.
The first thing I do is hit the mini donut stand.
I do a quick walk down the street assessing the vendors while consuming my donuts. This helps me decide which street vendors are worth visiting. After I wash the sugar off my hands I hit the shops. Make sure you go into each store, don't just stop at their outdoor tables.They have deals inside also.
After my first trip back to the car with my new finds I hit the cheese curds, and rest up for another around. This is followed by more shopping, a braut, shopping, food and repeat.
You want to keep moving as it helps to burn calories.
When I'm shopped out I like to sit outside at 318 Cafe with friends, where we compare deals that we found. Repeat this over three days adding in the Farmer's Market and Thursday night's Excelsior Girl's Night Out and you are set.
It has taken dedication and practice, but my game plan is a winner. I hope to see you out there.