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Crowd finds weird treasures, bargains at Warrensburg's great sale

Sidewalks were crowded and traffic was bumper-to-bumper Saturday along Main St. in Warrensburg, while shoppers sought bargains and treasures at the 33rd edition of the World's Largest Garage Sale.

Sidewalks were crowded and traffic was bumper-to-bumper Saturday along Main St. in Warrensburg, while shoppers sought bargains and treasures at the 33rd edition of the World's Largest Garage Sale. Photo by Thom Randall.

— She said that what they didn't buy was as interesting as what they did acquire.

“We’ve seen cool gadgets and other things here you’ve never seen before,” she said.

An array of intriguing items were for sale in a mid-town booth operated by Rick Guimmette of Winchester, Mass. At about 2:30 p.m., the narrow tent was crammed with people examining his thousands of antique hand planes, chisels, 1920s metal toys and cast-iron cookware.

He said that shoppers weren't deterred by the day-long rain – a repeat of last year's weather.

“For the weather, this is a good crowd,” he said. “They’re not just browsers, they’re dedicated buyers.”

Nearby, a portly man in red-and-white striped pants, red shirt and a foot-long white beard furiously stirred a pile of popcorn kernels in a giant wok to create a batch of “Kris Kringle’s Kettle Korn.”

As he stirred his long wooden paddle, popping corn flew every-which-way under the tent.

“Have you been good this year?” asked this Santa impersonator – Vernon Phillips of Gouverneur – as a child waited for a bag of the caramelized popcorn. “Every kernel is magically delicious.”

Frank Wiedeman of Schroon Lake, a scout leader, rode by on his bicycle with a few of his garage-sale purchases strapped to it.

Over the day, he was shuttling his finds -- tools, a pellet gun, planting pots and a side table -- back to his vehicle. He said he’s attended the Great Sale since 2008. This year, he decided to use two-wheeled transportation to get through the streets clogged with automobiles.

“Riding through town on my bike makes a lot of sense – I can cover a lot more ground quickly,” he said, noting that he’d normally get lots of camping equipment, but he already owns enough to outfit five families.

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