Three years ago, our small town ventured into an area it had never been. On the first Saturday in June, our Chamber of Commerce decided to try a city wide (small town) yard sale. Families, that were going to set up various sales, met with members from the Chamber of Commerce in April to make plans.
The Chamber of Commerce had the event advertised on the radio and in the newspaper. They even put up fliers in different towns at many locations.
Each family had to give a location as well as the items that they would be selling. They set up a time period for the sale. On this day they went from 8 am to 4 pm. They also had to indicate if they would be selling refreshments. Each family was charged $10. This fee was used to may a map brochure of the town.
The brochure would indicate the various places in the town and what was being sold at certain locations. In some areas, it gave instructions on how to get there. It also indicated where refreshments where being sold at. One family was selling Kabobs while another would have Bar B Que. Visitors using the map on the brochure knew where to go and for what they would want to eat. The map also gave the location of public restrooms.
The brochure also told a little bit about the history of the town and if there were certain attractions that they would want to see while on there trip here. The brochure also listed specialty items such as antiques and if there were any special sales on certain items.
On that Saturday in June, two tents were set up besides the two major entrances into the town. Visitors could stop there, pick up a map for free, and continue their journey. If they had any questions, they could ask one of the members of the Chamber of Commerce who commanded each tent.
There were areas provided where people could park their cars and get out and just walk through the small town. This was a big help as it cut down on traffic and parking problems. If there were no sidewalks in the area, people were allowed to walk the streets safely.
Many Churches would set up aide stations that also had yard sale items, too. This helped allow the churches to set up out reach programs. The aide stations had water and a cool area to sit and relax before the visitors went on.
Each family was responsible for their own area, what they sold and clean up at the end of the day. The various families would also help visitors by giving them instructions in relation to the map. If someone wasn’t familiar with a certain location, someone would help explain how to get there.
With everyone working together and the help of the Chamber of Commerce, it turned out to be a very productive day. A few weeks later, the Chamber had a quick get together with the different families to see if there was anything that could be done to make it better the following year. There were only a few suggestions made. Many felt that it was already a success. They were very thankful of the Chambers’ work in setting up the community wide yard sale.