TWIN BRIDGES – Hundreds of bargain savvy, second-hand shoppers flooded the Madison County Fairgrounds on Saturday morning for the 12th Annual Garage-O-Rama, sifting and sorting through used goods and long forgotten treasures hoping to find something they may or may not be able to live without.
Some people dove into racks of assorted clothing, from sweaters and ski jackets to baby clothes and still more baby clothes. Others browsed for furniture and unique collectibles, like old fashion beer steins or a bison hide. One man proudly walked away with an antique shotgun, while two others worked to secure their “new” rubber raft to the top of their truck before driving home. Still more people rummaged through boxes of brightly colored, unintelligible plastic items that would only make sense to a four-year-old.
A healthy representation of readers were present at the sale, some looking for books to add to their shelves while others volunteered to work the event hosted by the Friends of the Twin Bridges Public Library. Board member Kerstin Clark called it a big deal for the community as she took a turn collecting donations at the entrance to the one of the barns at the fairgrounds.
“It’s become kind of a community event,” Clark said. “People would be disappointed if we didn’t do it.”
Cynthia Osborne was busy running back and forth between the two barns, bake sale and fundraiser barbeque during the event. She volunteers to help organize it with the Friends of the Library fundraiser committee.
“Ill give you an insiders’ tip on this,” Osborne said. “See the first couple of hours, you know, everyone is trying to get top dollar for stuff, but by now they don’t want to pack it back up.”
“You can get some really good deals later in the day,” she said, adding that people like it because of the down to earth atmosphere and the distinct absence of professional sales people.
“I think they appreciate that,” she said.
While the amount of money raised by the event varies around a couple thousand dollars each year, Osborn said it probably wont be a record year with out the silent auction they have done in years past. But that didn’t discourage the volunteers who put on the event for more than 60 vendors.
“I think we are close to a record in terms of turn out and participation,” Osborn said.
An assorted mix of vendors also attended the sale, some simply looking to clean out their closets while others hoped to make a buck off their unwanted items. For a flat rate of $15 per booth, vendors kept any revenue they brought in from their display of goods. Some brought an assortment of handmade arts and crafts, proudly displaying their skilled handiwork while other booths looked like someone literally cleared out the deep dark corners of their garage or storage unit.
Throughout the morning the strong sense of community could be felt inside the old barns at the fairgrounds as friends and neighbors milled about, examining items that might seem like junk to some while others might consider it a treasure. As Clark welcomed patrons to the fairgrounds, she reflected on who might be getting the best deal at this garage sale, the buyer or the seller.
“It’s a win-win for everybody, I think,” she said.