Bargains Galore on 64 will hold its 18th annual event this week, where shoppers can find a wide variety of items, from furniture to clothes to household goods. Sellers also benefit by having a large group of people come in to the region during a three-day treasure hunt.
The event will be Thursday-Saturday and begins in Fort Smith and continues along U.S. 64 to Beebe in central Arkansas.
“There’s such a variety,” said Linda Hiles, Bargains Galore on 64 regional coordinator. “It’s 160 miles of yard sales and flea markets between Fort Smith and Beebe all along Hwy. 64. Some of the sales will be slightly off (U.S. 64), but signs will direct shoppers to those sales.”
Hiles said it was impossible to say what items are the event’s biggest sellers, although she said you can find almost anything during the sale. Vendors have no limitations on what they can market, and people sell everything from antiques, collectibles and clothing to furniture and household items. Others create handmade items to sell.
While this is the 18th year for Bargains Galore, Hiles said the event began slowly but has increased steadily over the years.
“The first year was difficult for everybody, because not everybody knew what was going on,” said Hiles. “The second and third year really picked up. It’s an opportunity for anyone, civic organizations, individuals, families to make extra cash for very little expense.”
Hiles added that if residents are lucky enough to live on or near U.S. 64, nobody’s charging them anything to set up their own sales.
“They can set up right there,” she said. “It’s not only an opportunity for people along the way to sell things, but the money they make goes back into the community.”
Hiles said a study from 2004 analyzed the economic impact of Bargains Galore in Ozark, showing nominal values of more than $71,000 originating from sales, hospitality and miscellaneous services, but also showing a real value net of almost $200,000, just for the city of Ozark.
“That’s a lot of money for a small community like that,” Hiles said.
Cities participating in the sale waive garage or yard sale permits for those three days, but food vendors must comply with Arkansas health regulations.
Debra Mathis of Van Buren said she has taken part in Bargains Galore on 64 off and on for about 10 years. She said she doesn’t live close enough to U.S. 64 to have her own sale but has assisted her…