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For upcoming huge Garage Sale, event officials cope with logistics, vendors

In her work preparing for the World’s Largest Garage sale next weekend, Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce president Lynn Smith answers a phone call in the chamber offices. Whether it was turning down a yodeler for the Sale entertainment lineup, answering vendors' questions, or arranging for porta-johns, Smith and her assistant Kelsey McGlinch have been busy this week.

In her work preparing for the World’s Largest Garage sale next weekend, Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce president Lynn Smith answers a phone call in the chamber offices. Whether it was turning down a yodeler for the Sale entertainment lineup, answering vendors' questions, or arranging for porta-johns, Smith and her assistant Kelsey McGlinch have been busy this week. Photo by Thom Randall.

— Not to worry.

The great sale has always drawn so many people annually to Warrensburg that it’s downtown is virtually immobilized for the days of the sale.

Folks from all over the Northeast U.S. and beyond cram the streets, browsing for bargains. Most of the action is along Main St., where wall-to-wall people is the norm.

The vendors, whether they are sock salesmen, antique hounds, tool vendors or food purveyors, want to be as close as possible to the action, Smith said.

“Everyone wants to be right on Main St.,” Smith said. “But those who have had those front spaces for years, don’t give them up.”

And the vendors take their battles seriously, Smith noted with a grin as she was examining registrations Sept. 22.

These skirmishes go into high gear on the Friday preceding the sale when most vendors pull into town, she said. Some arrive and bicker with neighboring vendors over space boundaries, or debate with Sale officials of whether their marked space is an inch or two short, she said.

“Some vendors say their neighbors are encroaching on their space, and others claim we’ve measured their spaces too small — and I referee the fights,” she said, adding that her tape measure is one of her most valuable possessions on Garage Sale weekend.

There are 209 Chamber-sponsored spaces this year at the sale, to be located in the parking lots of the Warrensburg Town Hall, the Warrensburg Health Center, Grand Union shopping center, and Glens Falls National Bank, plus the yards beside the town Senior Citizens’ Center, National Grid, and Grace’s Restaurant.

As of Sept. 22, a total of 180 were reserved, but a large number of late registrants were still reserving sale spots, McGlinch said.

One of the callers was a smoked barbecue vendor who claimed he had lost his vendor application — three times, Smith said.

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