Preparations underway for World's Largest Garage Sale

WARRENSBURG Its that time of year again when North Country residents scurry around, rummaging through their closets and garages, gathering household goods, collectibles, outgrown clothing and other wares they dont need. In the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce, the phone is ringing non-stop. On lawns throughout town, signs are popping up offering space to rent for vendors. All this activity is in preparation of the annual event in Warrensburg thats earned the town fame, as well as annually attracting tens of thousands of people. Each year since 1979 at the outset of Autumn, Warrensburg has hosted the Worlds Largest Garage Sale, which features well over 1,000 vendors, hundreds of local garage sales and bargains galore. Whether its collectibles, vehicle parts, antiques, old toys, vintage jewelry or virtually anything imaginable, its for sale at Warrensburgs big event, set this year to begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 4 and to run until 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 5. But, its more fun and more for shoppers to arrive a day early, with many of the sales launched Thursday or Friday. Whether one is looking for inexpensive socks, a specialized tool, a vintage radio or an obscure vinyl recording, you can find it at the big event. Crowd estimates in recent years have ranged from 50,000 to 100,000 people who crowd the streets of a hamlet that is home to fewer than 4,000. The event is not just about bargains. Theres also a street-fair atmosphere, with plenty of carnival food, from blooming onions and fried bread, to home-cooked food prepared by local churches and community organizations. Heres the scoop on how to avoid frustration of crushing traffic and maximizing time bargain-hunting. Arrive on Thursday or Friday, check into an area inn or motel, or get into town before 7:15 a.m. on the weekend. A lot of vendors are setting up before the weekend, and many savvy shoppers who know this are getting first pick of a wide range of wares. If you do arrive on the weekend, get into Warrensburg as early as possible, and take the Northway to exits 22, 24 or 25. Avoid Northway Exit 23, the primary road into Warrensburg, since it becomes very congested. By 8:30 or 9 a.m. Saturday, traffic can be backed up for nearly two miles onto I-87 Northway. From Northway Exit 22, turn left onto Route 9 and drive just a few miles north to Warrensburg. From Northway Exit 24, go south on Schroon River Rd. and park at the Warrensburg High School where shuttle buses will take visitors in and out of town. Or, from Northway Exit 25, head south out of Chestertown on Route 9 into Warrensburg. Advisory to residents and visitors: From Friday, Oct. 3 through Sun. Oct. 5, there is no parking on Main St. from the Bandstand to Stewart Farrar St., and on Horicon Avenue in the hamlet. This parking ban has been approved, and will be enforced, by the Warren County Sheriffs Dept., and has been passed as a local ordinance by the Warrensburg Town Board. Those who disobey this ban will likely have their vehicle towed. Also, motorists are urged not to block driveways, fire hydrants or public access, nor park on private property without permission.

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