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Great sale a success despite rainy forecast

WARRENSBURG - Karen Martin of Amsterdam scurried through her friend's front yard early Monday afternoon packing up leftover merchandise she didn't sell over the weekend during the World's Largest Garage Sale.

For nearly four days, Martin and her daughter Jackie Ellis of Lake George and her friend Karen from Amsterdam, an antique dealer, hosted hundreds of browsers at their yard sale on Library Avenue Extension, and sold more merchandise than they had anticipated, Martin said.

Their sales included arrays of household furnishings, odd decorative items, furs and clothing culled from estate sales, yard sales and family stashes in storage units, Martin said.

"We did much better than last year - we had a traffic jam in the roadway here," she said. "Next year, we'll bring more stuff."

Event officials had expected a washout for this year's edition of the great sale, as rain was predicted throughout the weekend.

But while some were scared off by the forecast, the result was that traffic moved a little better, and the weekend was more manageable, said Lynn Smith, President of the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce, which for decades has sponsored the nationally famous event.

"I think we had about 30,000 shoppers over three days," she said. It was a good turnout."

Smith said vendors of inexpensive and moderately priced merchandise yielded solid revenues, but those marketing high-end antiques reported they had meager receipts for perhaps the first -time ever.

The chamber rented 137 spaces, substantially fewer than the 200-plus of prior years, as vendors continued their trend of seeking sites on private property where they could set up for four days, rather than two as the Chamber allows.

Martin was one of those who did well at the sale - but perhaps it was due to the free entertainment she and her friends offered the shoppers, whether it was an impromptu vaudeville skit, a sly joke, donning 1930s furs - or a maneuver that might have been responsible for making the weekend so enjoyable for so many: her sunshine dance, which her daughter swore chased away the rain.

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