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Officials: Wbg. garage sale draws record one-day crowd

Bargain-hunters browse among vendors’ offerings Saturday Oct. 5 along Main St. in Warrensburg during the town’s famous World’s Largest Garage Sale. Virtually everything from dollar-store items, tools and household goods to valuable antiques and rare collectibles were offered at the event.

Bargain-hunters browse among vendors’ offerings Saturday Oct. 5 along Main St. in Warrensburg during the town’s famous World’s Largest Garage Sale. Virtually everything from dollar-store items, tools and household goods to valuable antiques and rare collectibles were offered at the event. Photo by Thom Randall.

— Kathy Schell of Schenectady stood on a downtown street corner early afternoon Saturday Oct. 5, waiting for her husband Bruce to catch up with her.

In Warrensburg for the annual World’s Largest Garage Sale, Schell said she was happy to find among the hundreds of sale booths and tables a rare item of Italian Capodimonte porcelain, a decorative centerpiece. Her husband appeared after inspecting some “guy stuff” of interest.

This was her family’s first time attending the Warrensburg garage sale, Kathy Schell said.

“I can’t believe how packed it is,” she said, looking at the Main St. gridlock. Her husband added his thoughts.

“This is absolutely crazy,” he said, eyeing both the traffic and sidewalks crammed with people.

Crazy? No question. Some event organizers later estimated that judging by the traffic jams and the people swarming through town, Oct. 4 was the busiest single day in the event’s 34-year history.

Rare collectibles found all over town

The bag that Kathy Schell was lugging back to her vehicle Saturday held a large M&M character holding a basketball, which dispenses M&Ms when you depress its left arm. This collectible edition is rare, but she bought it at the Warrensburg sale for $15. At home in Schenectady, Schell has an entire room dedicated to M&M collectibles, Bruce Schell said as he rolled his eyes.

“Coming to this sale has saved me a trip to Vegas,” he quipped, noting last year they traveled there to buy a particular M&M character.

Octogenarian Jane LeCount, a co-founder of the World’s Largest Garage Sale, sat on her porch watching thousands pass by on the Main St. sidewalks. She and local activist Steve Parisi launched the sale in 1980, and it drew about 1,000 people that year. By 1983, the crowd had swelled to 25,000 or so. She coordinated the event for perhaps two decades. In recent years, crowds have numbered 70,000 or so, while organizers claim 100,000.

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