In late June, the Bitterroot Valley becomes host to an annual event that has become the largest garage sale in Montana and surrounding states. The sale was started four years ago by an enthusiastic group of Bitterroot Valley residents and business owners and has now solidified into an annual event scheduled for the last Friday and Saturday of June each year. The sale location is the Bitterroot Valley corridor from Lolo to Darby.
Mark your calendars for June 29 and 30 for what is planned to be a bigger and better sale. In prior years attendees have come from 10 states or more and they are expected to attend again this year. Sellers include family garage sales, businesses, antique shops, vendors at local hot spots, and people setting up on their own along Highway 93 or close by.
The hot spots become localized flea markets where several garage salers gather to sell at a common location. Many sellers have made this an annual event and have become knowledgeable about what buyers are hoping to find. Many report that individual sales have become better and better each year.
There are many reasons why people participate in the sale. Sellers take advantage of this buying crowd to clear out their garage, liquidate estates, downsize, or sell their personal collection of vintage and antique items. They have often planned all year for this, setting items aside to feature at this event.
Buyers also come with different purposes in mind. Those from other states or people who travel long distances usually make it a weekend event, many with trailers in tow hoping to find resellable items at wholesale prices for their own shops or stores. Collectors use this concentrated sale event to make picking efficient, hoping to find those hidden treasures. Then, of course, there are a great number of people who use garage sales to find good buys on the things they need.
It is a home grown event for our valley run by volunteers who want the event to be fun and welcoming to all. You can be a buyer or a seller whether you are local or not. The website www.bitterrootvalley50milegaragesale.com is the best place to go to learn how and where to host your sale. You can sign up, register your sale, and pay online if you are a seller. If you are a buyer, this website will inform you where the sales are and what is for sale at each location. The website includes the telephone numbers of local committee members that you can also call for information and assistance.
Advertising your sale has the advantage of being on the official map and the fee can be paid for online. The bright orange garage sale sign has become the signature for sale participants. Those signs are included in your advertising fee when you register your sale.
Detailed maps will become available online and printed in the Bitterroot Star just prior to the sale date and will also be available at the hot spots during the sale event. Register early to avoid last minute scrambles. People who sign up the last week will not have their garage sales published on the map.