By MAGGIE MCMURRAY
Moapa Valley Progress
Moapa Valley may be the home of the Pirates, but all the treasure last weekend wasn’t on some abandoned beach in a chest. It was waiting to be found at stops all over the valley during the Moapa Valley Area Wide Yard Sale.
Hundreds of treasure hunters turned out in droves both Friday and Saturday to scour offerings at about forty local yard sale sites; most of whom had registered to appear on the official Valley-wide Yard Sale map published in the PROGRESS last week and available on the website of the MV Chamber of Commerce.
Most of the yard sales opened for business on Friday morning. But some elected to wait and cater only to the Saturday crowd. By most reports, sales were brisk and turnout for the event was great.
The event was organized and sponsored by the Moapa Valley Chamber of Commerce. Each year the Chamber chooses a weekend in early March for its Moapa Valley Days celebration. It also organizes a valley-wide yard sale as part of the celebration.
Through the Chamber’s website, those local families and groups who wish to have a yard sale, garage sale, rummage sale, or anything similar, can register with the Chamber. For a small fee their yard sale location, and a brief description of the goods they are offering, are included on the official map.
This year turnout was strong for the sale. The event is becoming widely known far outside of Moapa Valley. Crowds were especially thick on Friday morning at the start of most sales. People turned up early to get the best deals on the best selections.
The generally acknowledged yard sale giant is the huge sale organized by the Moapa Valley Rotary Club and held in the parking lot of Lin’s Market in Overton. Rotary volunteers agreed that this year over 1/3 of their gathered items were sold in the first hour or two after their Friday opening.
“We definitely saw a heavier crowd Friday morning, especially at the first,” said Rotary president Dana Utgard. “Within the first hour or so we’d sold over 1/3 of our items. Luckily we had several donations Friday night so although the Saturday crowds were lighter, we had new items to offer them. So it was still a good day.”
Although it may have been the biggest, the Rotary sale was not the only show in town. Brian Davis saw the yard sale hype and realized there would be a lot of traffic through his neighborhood. So he decided to join in the fun.
“I knew there would be a lot of traffic out and we have too much stuff so it was the perfect time to get rid of it,” Davis said. “It’s been super busy, so it’s been fun.”
Besides many single family yard sales, there were several held for higher causes. The proceeds from the Rotary sale went straight into their high school scholarship fund.
“This is a great event and we really appreciate the community support,” said Rotary volunteer Scott Adams. “Almost all the money we earn goes straight into our scholarship fund every year so it comes from the community and goes straight back into the community and our youth.”
New Hope Christian Church also held a yard sale in support of others.
“We did a yard sale to support our missionary families in the US and around the world,” said organizer Maria Medina. “It’s been an enjoyable fundraiser. We’ve been having a ball talking and visiting with all the people who have stopped by to support us. Everyone’s been so nice and the weather has been beautiful.”
The event has become a tradition for many in and around the Moapa Valley area. Deana Price, came from Littlefield, AZ, just for this event. “All the sales we’ve been to so far have been really good,” Price said. “We’ve had a great time hunting for treasures and visiting with people.”
Moapa Valley resident Mindy Fields loves the timing of the event because it falls on or near her birthday every year. “This is where I spend my birthday money,” she said. “I always find a few things I want and usually a book because then I can go home and enjoy the rest of my birthday reading.”
Although rain on Saturday halted some sales a little earlier than planned, most agreed that they had plenty of time to shop, visit with friends and see what bargains were out there.
“We come out every year just to buy and enjoy and have fun,” said shopper Amy Terril. “Even if you don’t find something you really want, it’s a lot of fun to look. In the end, though, we always end up buying something.”