Vergennes to host city-wide yard sale

VERGENNES — About 5,000 visitors come to Brandon for its annual community-wide yard sale, an event coordinated by that town’s chamber of commerce, which in turn reaps close to $1,000 for promoting and organizing the day.

That success caught the attention of downtown Vergennes merchant Linda Cook, owner of Linda’s Apparel and Gifts on Main Street.

Cook brought the idea of trying to duplicate those results to someone who knows the idea works in Brandon: new Addison County of Chamber Executive Director Susan Hoxie, who is a Brandon resident.

Hoxie quickly endorsed the idea, and the Little City Yard Sale has been scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on June 20.

“We’re modeling this on what Brandon has done for many years,” Hoxie said.

Hoxie believes there could be several benefits, as there have been in Brandon: Homeowners who have clutter that might be valuable to others could have many potential customers — as could Vergennes shops and eateries.

“Our goal is to create a community event, and also to bring people to town,” Hoxie said.

In the long run, the county chamber could also benefit, but at least to start with that’s not the point.

“I don’t think there will be much profit, if at all,” Hoxie said. “Our ultimate goal would be to have some revenue.”

What the chamber will provide is event advertising in print media in Addison and southern Chittenden counties and on the Internet. The chamber will also print a free map for buyers to all participating yard sales around Vergennes, and to sales that residents of neighboring towns can set up on the city green.

Those who choose to join in the citywide yard sale will be asked to pay to be included in the map, on a sliding scale. Simply to be listed in the map will cost less, but if sellers want a 25-word listing of what they have to offer they can pay a little more. Hoxie said final prices have yet to be determined, but would top out at $25 or less.

To reach critical mass for the Little City Yard Sale in its first year, Hoxie said about 30 sellers would be needed. Given the early word on the street and reaction to the plan, she is confident in that number.

“I feel it is highly reasonable we could get at least 30 households to participate, but I think we can do better than that,” she said. “People are clearing out their garages.”

Last week, Hoxie and chamber employees were working on a web page devoted to the event: addisoncounty.com/yardsale.

Hoxie said she would also welcome questions at 388-7951, as would Cook at her shop across from the city green at the downtown traffic light.

If all goes well on June 20, Hoxie hopes the Little City Yard Sale will become a fixture on the Vergennes calendar.

“I set modest expectations for the first year,” she said, “but I would love to see something eventually that is as successful as Brandon’s.”

Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at [email protected].

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