MOUNT HOPE — What started long ago as an evening celebration, but grew too large for one night’s worth of fun, the Mount Hope Sundown Sale is the merchants’ way of saying thank you to their customers and the community.

The Mount Hope Sundown Sale will be Friday, July 20, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

"When this thing started three decades ago, it was held only in the evening, running I think from 6 to 10 p.m. in the evening," said John Steiner of Mount Hope Hardware. "Then they would hold the prize drawings.

"We couldn’t handle the number of people we were getting, so we moved it back to noon, and that’s where it stood for a number of years," he continued. "But now, it’s an all-day event."

Every merchant in town offers some sort of special sale during the day. Most stores are open from 7 in the morning until 8 p.m. that day.

"Not everybody, but most of the retail establishments," Steiner said. "We all offer something special for the customers."

Everything at Mount Hope Hardware, for example, will be 10 percent off, storewide. Other stores offer similar deals or they offer specials on certain lines or items.

Tim Miller of The Trading Post Thrift Store is president of the Mount Hope Merchants Association.

"This is a day for the merchants to work together and give away some generous prizes," Miller said. "It’s a nice event for the local people. It’s a way of giving back to the community. We use some of the proceeds from the get-together in the evening to benefit charity events."

Each merchant holds a drawing for two adult and two children winners who visit their store during the day.

At 8 p.m. Friday evening, up at the Mount Hope Auction grounds, all the registrations will go into a stock tank for the grand prize drawing.

"The grand prize is a $1,000 Mount Hope Merchants gift card. The second prize is a $500 merchants gift card, and the two children’s prizes are a $300 and $100 merchandise gift card. Those cards are good for any one or (a) combination of the participating Mount Hope Merchants," Steiner said.

Gourmet burgers will be served along with sides from Mrs. Yoder’s Kitchen, as well as some musical entertainment provided.

"This is an evening intended to draw the community together, and it is also an opportunity for the merchants to show their appreciation for the business that we get from our local customers," Steiner said. "We all depend on our local people to continue to support us. And this is our way of showing our appreciation for that support.

Reporter Kevin Lynch can be reached at 330-674-5676 or klynch@the-daily-record.com.