Springs yard sale a success despite weather

By Ian Neligh
Posted 6/14/10

A little snow didn’t stop George Jackson from discovering gold in Idaho Springs more than 150 years ago, and it didn’t stop modern-day treasure hunters May 15 and 16 during the citywide …

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Springs yard sale a success despite weather


A little snow didn’t stop George Jackson from discovering gold in Idaho Springs more than 150 years ago, and it didn’t stop modern-day treasure hunters May 15 and 16 during the citywide yard sale.

Idaho Springs has been a famous destination for treasure hunters traveling west to find their fortune. Last weekend, with unforgiving mountainsides replaced by manicured front lawns, would-be adventurers from far and near braved the weather to try their own luck at the yard sale.

Visitors heedlessly perused a landscape of used tools, clothing, music, pottery — and pretty much anything else you can think of — in search of that perfect treasure.

The citywide yard sale was the brainchild of locals Ken and Mary Reid 10 years ago.

“When we started this … I went door to door with fliers talking to neighbors about (having) a yard sale on the same weekend,” Mary said. “It’s a good community thing. It draws people into town and gets everyone involved.”

Like all true treasure hunts, the citywide yard sale had a map showing the sales scattered throughout the city.

Mary said the idea behind the event was not only to help locals clear their garages of … er, treasures … but also to expand the visibility of Idaho Springs.

“We just want people to know that Idaho Springs is a destination point. If they want to go antique shopping, we’ve got great restaurants, we’ve got a bunch of great little stores, too,” Mary said. “Many times I hear people say, ‘You know, we’ve driven by Idaho Springs so many times, and we’ve never stopped, and it is a really neat little town.’ And it’s like, ‘Yeah, it is.’ “

Mary admitted last year the event was lacking a little luster and was, for the most part, poorly attended.

“Last year wasn’t real good, so I bit the bullet and said it is going to fly — or it is going to go away,” Mary said, adding that this year it was decided the event would be advertised. She said on the eve of the event that she hoped the weather would be nice. It wasn’t.

Weather hinders

Saturday attendance

“Well, in the morning we had a little ice storm (that) made us grab everything that we were worried about getting wet and got it stuffed inside,” said Colorado Boulevard resident Andy Howard. “Other than that, it stayed dry for most of the day … we were quite busy.”

Despite a storm, which cooled the city off on Saturday, most yard-sale participants who didn’t cancel said the weather didn’t really make much of a difference.

Howard said he thought it was a good idea to have this type of event.

“I thought it was great,” he said, adding that many of the visitors perusing the items in his yard asked him if the city held the event every year.

“Most everybody thinks it is real neat,” Howard said. “Everybody seems to be enjoying themselves.”

Resident Sharon Kanarr echoed Howard’s enthusiasm.

She said she had already set up her yard sale on Friday and decided to just see what happened — despite the cold weather.

“Yeah, (the weather) was pretty bad, but we were out here (and) selling like crazy,” Kanarr said.

A better day on Sunday

On the last day of the sale, the sun fought its way out over the mountains, drawing both locals and tourists into city yards.

Local Pat Helsom, who canceled her own sale on Saturday due to the weather, said she had at least 100 people stop by her front lawn on Sunday.

Ken Reid said he thought the event turned out well despite Saturday’s weather.

“There are some little bugs that could be worked out to make it a little bit more of a draw,” Ken said. “You know, it is hard to plan ahead for weather — but I’m happy that it brought people to town.”

Which, he said, was the main point. He is planning on the event happening again next year.

“I think it will be profitable for a lot of people,” Ken said. “It helps bring people to town for business, and it also helps people do a spring cleaning.”

Contact Ian Neligh at couranteditor@evergreenco.com, and check www.clearcreekcourant.com for updates and breaking news.


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