WARRENSBURG Over three decades, a local community event has earned national notoriety.
It's not merely a matter of its colossal size, it's the nature of the beast that consumes Warrensburg for an extended weekend each autumn.
The World's Largest Garage Sale has set records and launched knock-off events. It's helped local families cope with winter fuel bills and depleted 401k's. It's earned its place in the Guinness Book of Records. Most of all, it's given Warrensburg considerable fame.
Saturday and Sunday Sept. 29 and 30, Warrensburg will be awash in humanity, and vehicles will swallow this laid-back town for a frenzy of bargain-hunting. The sale's popularity is unquestionable, considering a swarming mile-long crowd annually browses amongst wares from hundreds of vendors and items at 1,000 or more garage sales in the vicinity.
Whether it’s collectibles, specialty or distressed goods, vehicle parts, antiques, old toys, vintage jewelry, household goods, tools — or virtually anything imaginable — it’s for sale at Warrensburg’s huge sale.
The event officially begins this year at 9 a.m. Saturday Oct. 1 and runs until dusk, with the same hours for Sun. Oct. 2 — and these are just the sanctioned hours.
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 ethnic food outlets and home-cooked delicacies prepared by local churches and community groups. For those seeking bizarre confections, this year there's deep-fried Oreo cookies.
The event, which lives up to its title, annually attracts tens of thousands of people. Some media representatives -- no doubt caught up in the frenzy -- have claimed several years the crowd numbered 100,000.
World's Largest sale coordinator Lynn Smith said this week that the event is likely to be larger than other recent years, as more vendors have signed up for 2012, due to a continued economic recovery.