ROXBURY, NJ - The parking lot at Roxbury's Horseshoe Lake Park was teeming with bargain hunters Saturday eager to get to the 5th Annual Community Yard Sale sponsored by The Roxbury Area Chamber of Commerce.
Always a popular event, this year's version was even more successful due to the spectacular weather that kept potential buyers streaming in all day. Yard Sale Committee Chair Nancy Knight, co-owner of Knight’s Automotive Repair in Ledgewood, was thrilled with the response. “We don’t officially start the event until 9 a.m. since we need to safely move vendors' vehicles off the field after they set up, Knight said. "But I could see the line of customers forming as early as 7 a.m.”
The giant yard sale was created by the Chamber of Commerce to create a safe and organized way for local residents to sell their wares - all in one place – while giving potential customers the advantage of 1-stop shopping. Since there was no charge for parking or admission, shoppers could spend their entire budget on their purchases. Judging by the boxes and bags being loaded into cars, many participants were doing just that.
The popular fundraiser procures local vendors who purchase 12-foot by 12-foot spots for their various craft, antique or collectible offerings. Those proceeds are then donated to worthy Roxbury causes: Roxbury Social Services, the Roxbury Historical Society, the Roxbury Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Fund and others.
Planning for this Yard Sale starts early. It takes a tremendous effort to organize so many vendors. Starting in January, the Chamber committee gets the word out to potential vendors. Food vendors also need to be procured. Then the local community is made aware of the date early to get on everyone’s calendar.
On the eve of the event, Chamber volunteers map out in chalk each vendor spot. On the day of the event, many of the same volunteers are directing parking until the vendors close down at 3 p.m.
“This venue is one of my favorite places to spend the day selling,” said one of the 78 vendors on Saturday. She praised the "nice people running" the sale and added, "I always do so well selling here.”
Many shoppers took advantage of breakfast from food vendor Mini Mac or lunch at the Jersey Rollz booth. The warm weather made a perfect excuse for an ice cream cone from Cold Stone Creamery.
“We host a number of successful events, but the Taste of Roxbury and this Yard & Craft Sale are two of the most popular,” said a beaming Chamber of Commerce President Linda Dora. “I watched many people come back and forth with some impressive purchases like a brand new microwave, lamps, really nice costume jewelry, antiques and even wooden benches handmade by one of the vendors.”
If you missed this one at Horseshoe Lake, don’t worry; next year's sale is already tentatively planned for Sept. 22 rain or shine. There’s also the Town-wide Garage Sale scheduled for June 23 and June 24. For that event, the chamber electronically maps all garage sale participants' homes on its website to guide shoppers to all homes holding a sale. Submit your email to www.roxburygaragesale.org to receive update alerts and information for both events.
Those owning businesses in Roxbury who want more information about joining the Chamber of Commerce can visit its website at www.roxburynjchamber.org.