Community-wide garage sale almost doubles to 81Published 10:19pm Wednesday, May 26, 2010
There’s apt to be a bigger-than-ever buzz in Dowagiac this Friday and Saturday as savvy bargain hunters, antiques enthusiasts and collectors of all things cherished descend upon 81 host sites of Dowagiac’s Community-wide Garage Sale Weekend. While the event is still in its infancy, the number of participants has once again outpaced the expectations of organizers, nearly doubling in size its second year.
Sponsored by the Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce and the Dowagiac Downtown Development Authority (DDA), the weekend promotion was organized by Vickie Phillipson, Chamber of Commerce and DDA program director.
Although the sales promotion is being billed as a Friday and Saturday weekend event that is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., some locations will also be open Thursday or on Sunday.
While neighboring communities simply hand out a map, Dowagiac organizers produced what they call a Buyers’ Guide.
Phillipson said shoppers can navigate their way from one location to another by referring to the sales’ map, or they can select only the sites that may be of interest to them by reading detailed information on each sale.
In addition to a location map, the Buyers’ Guide provides a list of the host sites by geographic region within or adjacent to the city, as well as information as to what type of merchandise each of the 81 garage sales will feature.
For day visitors, the guide also provides directions to sales located outside the city limits and at Sister Lakes.
A limited quantity of 500 to 800 Buyers’ Guides will be produced for the weekend event.
Buyer’s Guides are available to the public free of charge at the following downtown distribution sites: Booth’s County Florist and Gifts, The Hairitage, Hope’s Door Thrift Store, Iconik Clothing, Laurie Anne’s, Oh My, Shirley’s Flowers and at the Chamber in the depot.
Specialty shops that serve as distribution sites will also host May sidewalk sales or an inside sales promotion in conjunction with Community-wide Garage Sale Weekend.
Shoppers who visit downtown will find discounts of up to 75 percent off.
“When bargain hunters hit the streets, they’re likely to find an additional eight to 10 residential sales, in addition to the 81 that registered with us,” Phillipson said. “Following our print deadline, registration forms continued to stream in. Those folks who missed the deadline to have their information included in the Buyer’s Guide were encouraged to proceed with their sale by taking out the normal garage sale permit through the city.”
The city waived the permit fee for residents who signed up to participate in the promotion through the Chamber and DDA, and contributed $5 toward the paid classified advertising purchased in 11 publications to promote the weekend event.
While shoppers will find typical garage sale items by the hundreds, including clothing, general household, furniture and sporting goods, many sales will also feature estate items, antiques and collectibles such as Civil War items, vintage clothing, Depression glassware, antique wood-working tools and Heddon fishing poles.
Unique and larger items include an Amish buggy; retired office furniture from Southwestern Michigan College; Hippensteel interior doors, moldings, frame stock and 30,000 feet of hardwood flooring; plus a motor home, boat, pick-up and box trucks, a motorcycle and an ’87 Oldsmobile.
In addition to the residential sales, the promotion also includes sales sponsored by Federated Covenant Church, First Christian Church, Peace Temple Church, Rotary Club, SMC Green Club and Victory Tabernacle Church.
While a vast majority of the garage sales are conveniently located within a two-mile radius within the city limits, the promotion also includes residential sales north of the city, including those on Middle Crossing, Maple Terrace, Marcellus Highway, Davis Lane and Nubour Street; within Meadowbrook and Burmax Park subdivisions; and at Magician and Big Crooked Lake within Dowagiac’s neighboring Sister Lakes.
Residential sales located south of the city limits include those on Saddlebred Lane, Cherry Grove and Nishnabe Mywen. Sales west of the city are located on Indian Lake Road, and Burke and School streets.