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Bargain hunters browse bounty of Community Yard Sale

August 08, 2009|By ALICIA NOTARIANNI

HAGERSTOWN -- Donna Smith never planned to own a bird.

She inherited Petey from her uncle and isn't even sure what kind of bird he is.

"He talks. He's something like a parrot, I guess," Smith said.

Petey has been getting along just fine in a modest little cage, and Smith had no intentions of buying him a new house. But when she stumbled upon a veritable bird mansion at an irresistible price, she was sold.

"I only paid 30 bucks," Smith said. "At a store, I would have paid almost $300."

Smith, 46, of Smithsburg, found the bargain Saturday at the Community Yard Sale hosted by the City of Hagerstown at Fairgrounds Park stables.

"I love this. I love it. I will come back. I never knew it was here," she said.

Smith is one of many people who have discovered the flea market-style event since its inception several years ago. More than 60 vendors set up shop under the shelter of the old stables, which run the length of the sprawling park.

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Lewie Thomas, recreation facilities manager and event coordinator, said due to remarkable community response, the city has increased the frequency of the Community Yard Sale over the past few years. There was one in 2006, two in 2007 and three in 2008.

"This is the first year we are doing four -- April, June, today and then one in October," Thomas said.

Thomas estimated that nearly 1,000 people attended Saturday's event.

Like Smith, most shoppers go in search of that item they don't know they need until they lay eyes upon it.

Sandra Monroe, 68, of Hagerstown, went to the sale for the first time with nothing particular in mind. What she ended up with was a gripper handlebar for the bathtub, a shoulder bag and some shelves.

"It all just popped up into my mind as soon as I saw it," Monroe said. "Anywhere else, all this would have cost me $75, but I got it all for five!"

Monroe's sister, Juanita Hughes, 49, of Hagerstown, said she got, "Junk. Good junk."

"I got me a movie, a knife for my tackle box, and these things ... I don't even know what you call them," she said, referring to hanging dish towels. "I don't even use them. I just hang them."

She said the movie was a must-have, as it was the sequel to one she had seen.

"This is a nice affair, it really is," Monroe said. "They are having another one in October and we will be here. It would be nice if (the city) would have this once a month," she said.

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