With surging COVID-19 pandemic looming, 29th Annual Bosque County-Wide Garage Sale plans to go forward with rescheduled July 17-18 event
BOSQUE COUNTY -- Despite the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 disease rising daily in Texas, the rescheduled 29th Annual Bosque County-Wide Garage Sale remains planned for July 17-18, originally slotted for its regular first weekend in April date before the pandemic shut things down.
As one of Bosque County's time-honored traditions, the annual Bosque County-Wide Garage Sale weekend draws hundreds of families, friends and businesses to participate in selling off their unwanted items, while attracting treasure-seeking shoppers from across the state for the fun, community-oriented event. And after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott paused the re-opening process and restored some restrictions, organizers have been holding their collective breath.
“As of now, Bosque County-Wide Garage Sale is still on," organizer Jennifer Pliscott with the Greater Valley Mills Chamber of Commerce said. "We are asking participants to following the social distancing and mask wearing guidelines that Governor Abbott has put into effect.
"We don’t want to cancel. Only things that would cause us to cancel would be regulations from the governor or county judge. I am touching base with him again next week. We hope that everyone get to enjoy the much-needed shopping spree! Happy Treasuring Hunting!”
As Texas began to shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, the City of Valley Mills cancelled several events in April, including the Street Dance, the Easter Egg Hunt as well as the Bosque County-Wide Garage Sale planned for April 3-4 in hopes of rescheduling at a later date.
With the announcement to reschedule the garage sale event July 17-18, some have expressed concern about holding the outdoor event during the heat of the summer, suggesting waiting until Fall.
"We thought about that," Pliscott said. "But in the future, we would like to keep it in April like normal. Having it in late fall would have been too close to April."
Then just last week, Valley Mills announced the cancellation of its annual Fourth of July Celebration that includes a parade, festival, music and fireworks, not to mention the annual Little Miss Firecracker and Mr. 4th of July pageant.
“Due to physical distancing and other safety concerns and what Governor Abbott call as ‘massive COVID-19 outbreak,’ the Valley Mills Lions Club and the Greater Valley Mills Chamber of Commerce have made the difficult decision to cancel the July 4th fireworks show,” the June 25 statement on the chamber’s Facebook page said. “By making this decision, these organizations join many other communities and organizations in the area in cancelling July 4th events out of an abundance of caution and with the goal to help keep our community healthy and safe.”
Regardless, officials plan to do everything they can in ensure the annual garage sale event goes on as reschedule in a safe and responsible way.
"There was a huge outcry from the community to reschedule instead of cancelling the event altogether," Pliscott said. "People want to keep the tradition even if that means it’s a little later in the year and a whole lot hotter. We needed to schedule it far enough out where we had time to plan it correctly, but not far enough out to where it was be too close to our traditional April weekend. We hope to still see good participation."
For listings of participants registering in advance, booklets that include maps to garage sale locations will be available where The Clifton Record and Meridian Tribune newspapers are sold. Any registration forms received after July 3 will only be included in the online listing. The registration fee of $10 will be used to promote the garage sale event across the state.
"It seems extremely unlikely that anyone registered will have that many persons gathered together at one time," said registered participant Angel Sharp. "We’ll be wearing our masks, and it seems safer than taking a risk at a restaurant to me anyway. We’ll all be biting our nails until we know...or not, since that is pretty unhygienic."
Registration forms can still be picked up at any city hall or chamber office across the county. Registration forms will also be available online at the Valley Mills Chamber of Commerce website: http://www.valleymillschamber.com. For more information, visit Bosque County-Wide Garage Sale Weekend Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/359512984402420/?fref=nf.
Photos by SIMONE WICHERS-VOSS
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