Garage sale adds 'moonlight' session

Sunday, November 3, 2002

They still have to put people on a waiting list, but with a "moonlight" session at the November community garage sale the Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreation Department doesn't have to turn quite so many away.

"The reason we have two sessions at this sale is because there were still so many people waiting in line to register when we got done," said Amy Roth, recreation coordinator for the city's parks and recreation department. "This fall sale sold out in 30 minutes after we started taking registrations."

A total of 70 booths on the main floor and in the meeting rooms of the Osage Community Centre filled every available space at Saturday's Fall Garage Sale, held from 8 a.m. to noon. According to Roth, as soon as the morning sale was over, a parks and recreation crew would come in, reset a few tables, and new vendors would start coming in for the second session, scheduled for 4 to 8 p.m.

"Ninety percent of the vendors that are here this morning will leave and be replaced," Roth said.

Saturday's events were part of Cape Girardeau's areawide garage sales held quarterly each season. The sales have been going on for 8 to 10 years, Roth said, and this is the fourth year for the moonlight session at the fall sale.

Norman Hellwege and his grandson, 2-year-old Zachary Word of Frohna, Mo., were already carrying out a bright red barn with a yellow roof, some farm animals and a wooden train set to their car at 8:30 a.m. After stashing their goods in the trunk, they returned inside to rejoin Hellwege's wife, Violet, and Word's mother, Carol.

It costs $10.75 to rent a booth at these seasonal sales, and the event is free to the public. Roth estimated a couple thousand people stop by for each sale.

Garage sale items included dolls, dishes, knife sets, old radios, baskets, Christmas lights, clothes, caps, blankets, empty vintage beer cans and more.

But the most popular item is often baby clothes, Roth said, and other baby gear such as car seats and strollers.

Regular sellers

About 40 of the 70 vendors at Saturday's sale were regulars. The parks department appreciates these vendors' loyalty, but organizers are always glad to see new faces too, Roth said.

Roth thinks the event benefits everyone involved -- it is easy for the city to host; it draws a crowd into Cape Girardeau; vendors get free advertising, setup, cleanup and lots of exposure; and shoppers get to dig through a variety of goods indoors.

"We love books, so we had to come out and find a book and see what else they've got," said June Peetz of Cape Girardeau as she and her 5-year-old grandson, Dylan, sifted through a tub full of children's literature.

335-6611, extension 133

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