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Downtown Bozeman’s long-standing, traditional Crazy Days sale will continue this week, but it will look a lot different than it has in years past, in part because of the state’s new mask mandate.

“I don’t think that we’ll see the types of crowds that we’ve seen in years past, and that’s okay. We would like for people to utilize all options for Crazy Days,” said Ellie Staley, the director of the Downtown Bozeman Association. “For the people that do come down and participate in this event, we really are trying to promote the idea of mandatory masks in businesses, as well as on sidewalks.”

Retailers often rely on the sale to clear out old merchandise and make way for new, Staley said, and many would probably have had big sales, even if the annual event was canceled or postponed.

“Businesses are being incredibly creative about the way they’re approaching this,” Staley said. “There’s just lots of options ... Everybody’s participating at their own comfort level.”

The Downtown Bozeman Association has provided more than 1,000 masks to participating businesses. Some businesses have closed fitting rooms, are limiting cash transactions and will have online sales or extend in-person Crazy Days sales into next week. Some have reduced in-store capacity.

On Wednesday, Gov. Steve Bullock announced that wearing a mask or face covering is mandatory in enclosed public areas in counties that have more than four active cases of COVID-19. Gallatin County meets that threshold.

Many downtown businesses were already requiring masks for staff, and some asked that customers wear them, as well. Having the governor’s orders as backup is something that will help businesses enforce mask wearing while customers peruse the sale, Staley said.

“Forcing something on their customers is hard for businesses, and so I think having this type of mandate so that everybody has the same understanding when they walk into the business definitely creates a more comfortable situation for our small business owners and staff,” she said.

The Downtown Bozeman Association will set up hand-sanitizing stations at crosswalks downtown for people to use. While wearing a mask outdoors isn’t part of the governor’s mandate in some circumstances, Staley said she and the DBA board are pushing for people to wear masks while on the sidewalks because of the potential for crowds this weekend.

“Specifically during Crazy Days, we’re really encouraging people to wear them while they’re walking along the sidewalks as well,” she said.

Crazy Days takes place Friday through Sunday at multiple businesses in downtown Bozeman. More information on Crazy Days and what to expect can be found on the Downtown Bozeman Association’s website, downtownbozeman.org.

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Melissa Loveridge can be reached at mloveridge@dailychronicle.com or at (406) 582-2651.