Shoppers swarm “World’s Largest Garage Sale” at Fairmount Park

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COLLINSVILLE, IL (KPLR)-Thousands headed to Fairmount Park Race Track Sunday morning for WIL’s “World's Largest Garage Sale," presented by Goodwill.

John Forter looked over the hundreds of people who were filing into the orange plastic gates before sunrise.

“Like some of the parties I used to go to when I was in college,” he saw the staff checking wristband and directing traffic. “Everybody was here about 3:30 waiting to get in.”

Hubbard Radio, parent company for WIL 92.3, 101ESPN and 106.5 The Arch, hosted the event that claims to be the biggest bargain hunting ground in the world.

“You can’t get any bigger than 300 garage sales here at this venue,” said Kim Grant, Digital Media Director for WIL Radio. “I believe last spring, we finally hit the tipping point of 10,000 attendees.”

John Forter is a first timer. In the past, he tried before to be a garage sale vet.

“If you sign up early, you don’t get a booth. That is how popular it is. Basically, we made sure we got in this year.”

Many customers even paid a little extra for the first chance to pay less for toys, furniture and other items.

“I go through a lot of clothes all the time,” said vendor Kadie Carr. “Kids go through those clothes so fast, you might as well get them for the cheap.”

Any leftovers, no matter how large, went to Goodwill, who hauled them away at no charge.

“Say you brought all your stuff here and you don’t want to haul it all home,” Grant explained. “You just got your nice garage all cleaned out. They’ll take it for a tax deduction. You’ll receive a receipt right here.”

That meant less stress for vendors. That also meant more work for agency employees and more help for those who needed help finding affordable clothes and furniture.

“They go to Goodwill, they come here. They can find a decent price here so they can afford it,” Forter said.

“I think it’s wonderful. I think it’s awesome,” Carr said. “Everyone needs to help everybody. It helps the world go round.”

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