Massive sale may be dampened by rain, but not downsized

The event begins this year at 9 a.m. Sat. Oct. 3 and runs until 6 p.m., with the same hours for Sun. Oct. 4 - and these are just the sanctioned hours. The advance sales start up to two days earlier.

Residents extend a warm welcome to all visitors regardless of the traffic and inconvenience. They urge all to return and enjoy a visit when the true character of the town is evident, when there are 3,800 year-round residents here, rather than the tens of thousands routinely hosted during the Garage Sale Weekend.

The event is not just about bargains. There's 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.

New this year are vendors of international food, including Greek fare, Smith said. Also a novel addition to the Sale is a gift basket of goods and services donated by local businesses. Raffle tickets can be bought at various locations through town.

Here's 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. If you can make it off Exit 213, take a right turn to go via East Schroon River Rd. and follow signs to a free parking lot north of town and take a free trolley downtown.

•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 county fairgrounds 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.

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