By MAGGIE MCMURRAY
Moapa Valley Progress
Bargain hunters were out in droves last Friday and Saturday, celebrating a weekend of great buys and community spirit. For the fourth year in a row, the MV Chamber of Commerce teamed up with the Moapa Valley Revitalization Project (MVRP) for a Moapa Valley Days celebration.
The most popular event of the day was the Valley-wide Yard Sale. For many groups, preparation for the yard sale began weeks in advance. Shoppers were ready for the finished product.
The biggest sale, traditionally, is hosted by the MV Rotary Club and takes up a good portion of the parking lot at Lin’s Marketplace.
“We had a fantastic turnout,” said local Rotarian Ken Robison. “We had people lined up on Thursday buying things as we were unloading them off of the truck!”
Rotary president Dana Utgard agreed. “The sale went really well,” she said. “Without the help of all the Rotary members and their families, this wouldn’t have happened. We want to give a huge thanks to the community for always coming out to support us.”
The yard sale is a big deal to Rotary, which is a service organization. According to treasurer, Karen Alsum, one hundred percent of the proceeds go straight into their scholarships, which they award yearly to deserving MVHS graduates. “We put every cent into our scholarships, even the tips in the tip jar!” Alsum said.
The Rotary sale may have been the biggest, but it certainly wasn’t the only show on the block. This year’s participation was greater than ever and Chamber of Commerce President Marjorie Holland was very excited about the success of the event.
“Turnout and participation was great this year and we’re pleased with the community response,” Holland said. “We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback.”
Rita Brinker was one of the many community members holding a sale. She was pleased with the crowds that came and how many of her items sold on the first day of the sale. “Traffic has been good and the people have been friendly,” she said. “I really appreciate the beautiful weather the Chamber arranged for us this weekend.”
After shopping Saturday morning, shoppers and other community members had a chance to retire to the Overton Park to take in some live music, shop at vendor booths, and enjoy a great lunch. In the past, MV Days vendors have been positioned along the Moapa Valley Boulevard. This year the event was moved to the park and the shade was greatly appreciated by both vendors and event go-ers alike.
Unfortunately, the move from the center of town may have had an impact on attendance, which was light in spite of the addition this year of live music by Mama’s Wranglers out of Las Vegas. Those that attended, however, did seem to really enjoy the family atmosphere and the chance to unwind and listen to the entertainment.
The vendor offerings included a wide variety of goods, from decorated gourds and pottery to a book sale by new local author Alexandra Demers. Demers recently moved to the valley from Wyoming and was selling her book, “Threadbare: The Traveling Show”. It was her first experience with Moapa Valley Days. She said, “Business has been slow this morning, but it is starting to pick up.”
There were also two food vendors. Rik Eide was there selling fresh-made kettle corn, along with almonds and other treats, with designer sodas to wash it all down. For those in the market for more substantial fare, Kimmy Coleki and crew were there with their Hawaiian food booth and Shave Ice. Their booth seemed to be doing the best business, especially as temperatures rose and lunch time rolled around.
Logandale resident Beezy Tobiasson and her husband, Glade, were one of the groups of local residents that came out to enjoy the day and take in some music. She said, “We try to support the valley and they events they have. I love to come every year, and just for the record, the chicken teriyaki bowls alone are worth the trip. They are fantastic.”