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Downtown El Paso offers shoppers an "experience"

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It's the middle of the afternoon in Downtown El Paso and the bargain hunters are out in force.

From shoes to sombreros, there's no shortage of interesting finds along this stretch of downtown that comes right up against the U.S.-Mexico border. And that's why the Downtown Management District is hoping you'll shop here during the tax-free weekend.

"You're going to get savings everywhere," said Rudy Vasquez of the DMD. "Here you're going to get savings plus you're going to get an experience."

Vasquez is talking about the Back to School Weekend event that's happening in the El Centro District. It's happening Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm on Fourth Street, between El Paso and Oregon Street.

"Here you're going to get the outdoor shopping and then on top of that we're adding programming. so music, fashion show," Vasquez said. "We've got everything. We've got people walking around so we have kinetic energy."

The Back to School Weekend event is sponsored by the Downtown Management District and the El Paso Central Business Association. The entertainment and food are geared at attracting customers who might otherwise spend their tax-free Saturday at more traditional retailers, like outlet malls or shopping centers.

"You come down here you got sidewalk sales, you've got the border," Vasquez said. "You've got a great experience coming down and seeing the stuff that's on the sidewalk and then you go in and then you've got a plethora of things to get."

Saturday is also the final day of the Segundo Barrio Back to School Backpack Drive. Shoppers are encouraged to buy a few extra items that can be donated to to children who live in the nearby neighborhood.

"We're going to have a distribution to all of the kids here in the Segundo Barrio on Sunday through sacred heart church so we're asking everyone for help, any little bit helps," said Maria Ortiz with the Central Business Association.

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