By Thursday night, some families in Liberty Lake had already put the contents of their attics on their front lawns. Families rummaged quietly in their garages, organizing old jewelry on collapsible tables. Most vehicles, normally sheltered for the night, were parked in driveways next to canopies and lemonade stands.
From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. today, bargain hunters from far and wide will pack the streets for the 21st annual Liberty Lake Community Yard Sales – an event that’s been happening longer than Liberty Lake’s been a city.
Cyndee Furukawa, first-time organizer, has heard of shoppers who’ve traveled from Montana. Pat Dockrey, who is volunteering for the fourth year in a row, said he’s had requests from Idaho residents to set up shop in the park.
“I’ve been told that there are people who plan their vacations for this sale,” Dockrey said.
More than 260 homes have registered this year. Each paid $10 for an ad on a map in the event guide published by the Liberty Lake Splash. Proceeds go into the Liberty Lake Kiwanis Foundation Scholarship fund.
Retailers and restaurant operators say the event marks one of their biggest days. After seeing the long line of cars along Appleway Boulevard during last year’s sale, Bobby Taninchev, new owner of Liberty Lake’s Twisp Café, said he’s calling extra help to work.
“It’s a busy day,” Taninchev said.
Liberty Lake police Chief Brian Asmus said he’ll have three officers on bikes patrolling the city, although he notes that shoppers are usually cooperative.
Many people in Liberty Lake say they look forward to the yard sales every summer, despite the heavy traffic it brings.
“It’s fun as long as you don’t leave your neighborhood,” said Cindy Merrill.
Cindy Constance is participating in her fifth sale.
“We just expect it and it doesn’t bother us,” she said. “It’s great when we’re selling because that means our things are going to be out there, and people are going to stop by and hopefully buy something.”
Her son Casey Constance will sell model cars, action figures, Legos and other collectible toys.
“My grandpa’s friend gives me a lot of toys to sell … I buy them for a dollar and I sell them for two,” said the Greenacres Middle School student.
At Carrie Kuhl’s house, four families are selling together. Most of her items are children’s toys and clothes.
After seven years of experience, Kuhl knows just what to expect from today’s event.
“I look forward to it a lot,” she said. “There’s lots of people. There’s tons of yard sales, lots of vendors around the park. It’s a lot of fun.”