This year, the Great Woodhaven Yard Sale is celebrating its 10th anniversary and for the first time ever, the community-wide event will be held for two days on Saturday, June 10 and Sunday, June 11.
The annual event, sponsored by the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association (WRBA), will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and it’s slated to be the biggest one yet.
“The organization doesn’t know if anyone else in the city does this. We have not seen anything like this,” said Vance Barbour, director and event coordinator of the WRBA. “We’re sort of like the preeminent yard sale location for the city when it comes to this type of thing and we’re very pleased with it.”
Barbour, who is the director of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association, said he wanted to have a community yard sale after seeing a TV news story about a group of people in the southwest who held a yard sale once a year.
“People were lined up along the main route and put their stuff out. It stretched for about 300 miles, so I said, ‘Wow, that’s a great idea. How can we apply that here?’” Barbour said. “I said,” What if we have simultaneous yard sales in the community all at the same time and then just promote it?”
The first community yard sale was held in 2013, according to Barbour. Since WRBA received an overwhelming response from participants, the yard sale became an annual event, where members of the community get together and hold simultaneous yard sales on the same day. A map of the participating households listed with addresses are provided so shoppers know where to go.
“We couldn’t believe how many people loved this and we’ve been doing this ever since,” Barbour said. “The amount of households participating changes every year. We keep getting new ones when people move out of the community and move in.”
Between 50 to 80 households participate in the yard sale every year, according to Barbour. In the past, the event was held in September and while many families were busy with their kids going back to school, Barbour decided to move the event to June.
“It’s the end of the school year and people were doing spring cleaning at that time. The weather is also better in the first week or two in June,” Barbour said.
Shoppers can find anything at the Woodhaven yard sale, from homemade jewelry, guitars, mugs and glasses, musical instruments, clothes, books, utensils, power tools and much more.
There have also been people in other communities such as Forest Hills and South Richmond Hill that have shown interest in participating in the yard sale, Barbour said.
“We have accepted people from Ozone Park, Richmond Hill and as far as South Richmond Hill,” Barbour said. “I said I’ll put you on the map and list, and most people participate both days, but some can only one day. If you’re a standalone person, you may not see any additional traffic from this event for you.”
People also travel from New Jersey, Long Island, Staten Island and Brooklyn to shop at the yard sale. Shoppers are more likely to visit more households on a street that is participating in the yard sale, according to Barbour.
While the Great Woodhaven Yard Sale is a chance for people to find items of interest, it also brings the community together.
“Last year, people were out and they had wine and pizza — they made it into a big party,” Barbour said. “One time people were having a cookout while they were having a yard sale. It’s contagious. The people who come to shop have a great time, and the people selling have a great time.”
In order to bring in more shoppers, the WRBA has expanded their marketing by promoting the event on social media such as Facebook and Twitter. There are also three types of flyers — a full page, a section page, and a tri-fold so people can cut and share with others.
WRBA is also interested in working with other local civic organizations in the hopes of expanding the yard sale.
For those who would like to participate in the Great Woodhaven Yard Sale, contact WRBA at 718-296-3735, or send a message with your name, email address and home address to WRBA’s Facebook page. Shoppers should also check the Great Woodhaven Yard Sale’s Facebook page for the actual map and list of participant households in the days prior to the actual event.