Once again, the citywide garage sale is expected to draw hundreds, if not thousands of people to our community this upcoming weekend.
The streets will team with bargain hunters and vendors. There will be entrepreneurs from organizations seeking to raise funds for civic projects and corner lemonade stands. Gardner’s annual citywide garage brings out the best in what is capitalism.
In between, business owners in Gardner will probably realize a spike in sales on Saturday. Many shoppers – from in and out of town – will stop at a local restaurants and convenience stores for a quick bite to eat and to gas up.
The sale showcases Gardner and its citizens. And the most amazing part? The showcase occurred without the intervention of city hall or taxpayer funding.
The citywide sale needs no additional tax dollars for colorful public-funded brochures; It needs no time from city employees issuing permits, or the city council issuing proclamations.
It exists because yesterday’s volunteer groups – such as former Gardner Chamber members and downtown business merchants — once wanted to bring more people into Gardner. Although the chamber no longer sponsors the event, and the Downtown Merchants Association is largely defunct, one of their greatest accomplishments still exists thanks to business owners in other parts of the community, who picked up where they left off.
Prior volunteers, and those who currently put the sale together, didn’t request thousands of dollars from the city to bring people into town; they are not funded by the city or taxpayers in any way.
There’s a lesson to be learned from the citywide garage sale: Where there’s a need, people will step in and fill it, but only if the government steps out of the way and allows them to work.
Congratulations to citywide garage sale organizers, and those who will participate this weekend, for another successful year. Although your individual efforts largely go unsung, we appreciate the work you put into the annual sale event.