Every spring and fall, the Civic Center hosts huge garage sales. Instead of using their garages, families and individuals can rent a table and set it up inside the Civic Center. Usually, about 40 vendors attend with hundreds of shoppers looking for bargains. The Civic Center parking lot was filled to capacity on Saturday within the first 30 minutes.
The south and north yard was used for a garage sale. One of the first tables the visitors saw upon entering the South Arena was manned by Cathy Van Roekel. She had eight tables of items for sale. Van Rokel said she retired two years ago and decided it was time to clean out her house. An indoor garage sale was the perfect opportunity to declutter. She was also selling baby clothes her son had sent her.
Children’s items are usually the most abundant selling items. Since babies are always growing, parents and grandparents are always shopping for new items. Parents also need to sell items that no longer fit. This could include costumes.
Grev’s kids, Skylar, Raelyn and Kamryn were eye-catching in their animal costumes. Raylene and Camryn find new cow outfits while Skyler gets a unicorn outfit. The Grieves found the costumes on the Wilson family table. Their mother, Alyssa Greeve, said Skyler loves unicorns and Raylene loves cows so she was a perfect fit. Their aunt Carla Deutschmann actually bought the costumes for them. Deutschmann later said that the costumes were very cute, and she would have bought the clothes even if her mother did not approve.
Beth Watson had a Hawaiian-themed table. Everything a person could need to decorate a luau was for sale. Watson said many of her items were left over from a Hawaiian-style graduation party.
Watson said she tries to rent a table in the indoor garage every year to sell items she no longer needs, but the COVID pandemic has made that impossible.
“I saved three years’ worth of stuff from the epidemic,” Watson said.
This was a common theme in this year’s sales. Many vendors were returning for the first time post-pandemic with more items than ever before.
Once again, Scott Gilsrud of Redwood Falls has set up a shop selling vintage vinyl records and comic books. During the Spring 2019 sale, he said that vinyl records were on their way back, and that remains true four years later.
He said that the albums of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s sold the best. The reason is that many people who were young in those decades didn’t have a chance to buy vinyl records. The switch to cassettes and subsequent CDs has already begun. Gilsrud said that people in their fifties now have a chance to get the records they wanted in their youth.
Many shoppers were looking for special items. Dave Weldy was stalking tables for an ancient symbol; Especially the old ones that are served in bars to get discounts on drinks. Weldy managed to find an old two cent discount token on an antique table. Decades ago, this code offered a small discount to a bar customer, but today it was worth $5.
The artifacts sold out quickly. At North Arena, Jerry and Chappy Carlson were having a solid sales day, moving several antiques around. Chappe said the antique garden art was selling very quickly.
Carlson said this is the first time they’ve attended indoor garage sales after three years. They were happy to return. A group indoor garage sale offer a better return than going it alone. Selling at the Civic Center, Chappy said they don’t need to pay for an ad and they don’t need to outfit their own garage. For the price of renting a table, it was a real bargain.
This spring’s indoor sale was especially appreciated because of the weather. The warm weather early in the week was gone, with chilly winds and rain on Saturday morning. All sellers were happy to have an indoor sale site.