By ROBERT PIERCE
• Daily Leader
As a major retail trade center for Southwest Kansas and the Five State area, Liberal offers a large variety of retail and service businesses.
In July, the community is home to its annual Bazaar Days event, allowing bargain hunters from all over the area to find savings on numerous products.
This weekend, shoppers will be able to find bargains not only at businesses, but also at garage sales and non-profit fundraisers all over town.
The organization commonly known as the Society for the Prevention of Bored Housewives has temporarily changed its name to the Society for Promoting Bargain Hunting, and the group has planned a new community event for this Saturday – a citywide garage sale.
Ada Linenbroker of SPBH said the club wanted to create a community day that will benefit everyone.
“It’s not just for garage sales or businesses that do Bazaar Day,” she said. “It’s for non-profit groups to do fundraisers.”
Linenbroker said usually, only one fundraiser takes place on a given weekend, and many times, this creates poor attendance.
“If everybody goes together and does it on the same day and you have a big crowd come into town, you have a much better chance of making more money that way,” she said.
Linenbroker said a group effort also cuts the cost of advertising and promotion of such an event.
“If everybody goes together and works on it together, you’re going to get a lot more information, more people involved, more people interested,” she said. “People coming into town may only want to go to one or two things, but while they’re in there, they say ‘Hey these people are doing something over here. Let’s go see what that is.’”
Linenbroker said a garage sale benefits everyone in town, and if people are drawn to an event, they are more likely to stay in town for other activities.
“We do the craft show at the end of the year, but we really didn’t have a project,” she said. “We had tried to do a renaissance festival about 20 years ago, and it just didn’t get the momentum we wanted.”
Linenbroker said a garage sale is something everyone is interested in.
“Our Bazaar Days has kind of died off and not as many people get involved in it as should,” she said. “This is just a way for everybody to get involved.”
Linenbroker said several of SPBH’s club members have enjoyed going to other communities such as Meade’s Trash and Treasure Day and spend the day shopping and checking out the events planned by their city to promote their communities.
“We decided to start our own community bargain hunt and are inviting all garage sales, Bazaar shoppers or anyone who would like to spend a day in Liberal to come to town on the 15th and join with us to make this event one that everyone can enjoy by spending the day, shopping, eating and checking out our local attractions,” she said.
There will be several garden centers with bargains to plant in the yard, furniture stores and gift shops with bargains to decorate or remodel homes and several restaurants with breakfast and lunch specials.
“Not counting all those one of a kind items you can find at the many garage sales around town,” Linenbroker said.
She said as of Thursday, about 18 businesses and 15 garage sales are participating in the event.
“Some of the businesses that are involved are Salty Dog, Spencer Browne’s Coffee House and the Pancake House,” she said. “They’re going to have specials. We’re also going to have maps at those locations for the people coming in from out of town.”
Some of the non-profits participating in the sale include Dorothy’s House, Baker Arts Center and Mid-America Air Museum.
“Dorothy’s House is just going to have tours like they always do, but they’re going to have a Dorothy’s bake sale out there that day to raise money for them,” Linenbroker said. “Baker Arts is having their Community Art Show, and they’re also selling their private collection. For out of town people, that’s a good chance for them to go by and see that. The air museum is going to be open for tours and shopping in their gift shop.”
This is the first year of the sale, and Linenbroker said she would like to see bigger numbers in future years.
“I’d like to get it where we have 100 garage sales and most of the businesses in town eventually,” she said. “We’ll just have to wait and see how it builds up.”
SPBH is also working with local newspapers to advertise the day, and Linenbroker said there will be a full page map printed in the Daily Leader.
“The map will have marked where the locations are,” she said. “There’ll be a matching number that’s going to be on the map, and it’ll have a list of all the items that people are going to be selling or what they’re doing at the different non-profit groups. There’ll be some advertising on it.”
In addition to the Leader, the map will also be in the High Plains Shopper and El Lider and at different locations throughout Liberal.
“I am advertising in all the newspapers around within 60 miles of here,” Linenbroker said.