Shoppers Hit Garage Sales

NEW BREMEN — It could have been called “garage sailing” Friday in New Bremen as customers were blown from house to house by a bout of blustery winds cool weather, but that didn’t stop them from turning out en masse to catch a deal.

Jodi Trego said she had bought Cinderella dresses for her daughter Ali, but was looking for outdoor patio furniture this year.

“It looks like anything I want everyone else wants, too,” she said.

Lori This was selling in her garage, mostly toys that her children had outgrown.

“Weather has a lot to do with it,” she said of sales. “Today is cold, so people are more selective. I do hear people say that when it’s organized, they like it better.”

This was one of the many proprietors who started her sale early, opening up Thursday, which she said was a busy day. Michelle Luthman and Evelyn Wenning also opened Thursday, and said the traffic was heavier on the warmer day.

“It’s not been bad,” Wenning said of Friday’s turnout. “Yesterday (Thursday), we had people looking for Legos, and some come in for advertised items.” Most people, however, are just looking for a friendly exchange, she said. Luthman said the women enjoy having garage sales, and they’ve hosted 12 to 15 sales together.

“It’s a tradition,” she said.

She chooses what to sell as she cleans.

“I clean my house, and I warn my kids,” Luthman said. “They know anything they leave out is fair game.”

Terri Beck and Christel Glauner attended the Luthman-Wenning sale, noting they drove from Indian Lake to come to New Bremen’s annual event, which they attend every year.

“Next year we’ll come on Thursday,” Beck said. “We missed out on some serious shopping then.”

While many garage and yard sales opened Wednesday or Thursday, Jack Bielefeld had all those sales beat as far as opening early went.

“This is the first year I got serious about it,” Bielefeld said. “I started last week, and I took three days off.”

On Friday, he was in his second week of selling and was still bringing out items and dusting them off.

“I’ll probably do it again next year,” he said. “I got whatever I could get rid of. At my age you don’t need things anymore. I’m 66 years old, and I’ve accumulated stuff.”

Thursday had been his biggest day so far because of the warm weather, he said.

Eric Ranley was manning his sister’s garage sale, full of children’s items Friday, and said he’d had decent traffic.

Shoppers seemed to have plans for where they wanted to go and to have scouted out what they were looking for in advance. He expected today to be the biggest day, although Friday morning brought a crowd.