How far will you go for a garage sale?
A VCR tape of "The Pajama Game." Civil War weapons and hoop skirt scaffolding. Cut-rate cookies and Nicorette gum. Milk bottles and buttons. Farm machinery.
This is just a taste of what is to be had at the "World's Largest Garage Sale" (warrensburggarage sale.com), held in Warrensburg, N.Y., about a four-hour drive from NYC. Held every year since 1972 on the weekend before Columbus Day, the WLGS is a low-rent version of Brimfield, the high-end Massachusetts antiques fair.
Casual, kooky and full of surprises, the WLGS combines spectacular leaf peeping with bargain hunting and amateur arbitrage while chilling out in a scenic little former logging town.
Last year, about 250,000 people swarmed through Warrensburg like beachcombers seeking emeralds in the sand. Antique dealers, professional peddlers and the purveyors of Mexican food and funnel cakes always set up along Main Street, but the real deals are found on the back streets, where the Adirondack town's 3,100 residents are purging the contents of their attics and basements. If you're eager to have first pick, you might consider arriving by early Thursday.
"We allow the town residents to set up early, but only the town's residents," said Lynn Smith, president of the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce and co-owner of Alynn's Butterfly Inn.
Surrounding towns have hitchhiked on the Warrensburg phenom by also holding rummage, tag, garage and yard sales.
Where to stay:
Book early. Find hotels, motels, lodges, B&Bs and campgrounds at warrensburg garagesale.com.
Where to eat:
Warrensburgians swear by Bill's Restaurant, 3915 Main St., 518-623-2669, The Grist Mill, 100 River St., 518- 623-8005, and Lizzie Keays, 89 River St., lizziekeays.com.