By Ryan Richardson
NEOSHO, Mo. —
What is billed as Missouri’s biggest garage is getting bigger.
Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce members on Wednesday celebrated the 25th year of the annual citywide sale by announcing that this year’s event will be held over two days, on April 5 and 6.
Almost 24 years to the day of the chamber’s initial announcement of the event, many of the same members who were present then held a news conference to announce the two-day plan. Gib Garrow, director of economic development, said the event has steadily grown into the biggest day in Neosho for the city’s hotels and convenience stores.
“We started with 130 garage sales in 1989, and it was unbelievable chaos then,” Garrow said. “We’ve got a lot more experience, and we have got this much more organized. It still is by far one of the busiest days in Neosho, and this year it will be a busy weekend.”
This year, the Neosho chamber will go online with registration for the event and also will provide online maps of the sales in addition to the traditional printed maps, said Shana Griffin, executive director of the chamber.
“We are encouraging everyone to register so that we can section off the city for the maps,” Griffin said. “We are also taking registration at the chamber for those who don’t have computers so they can get their sales online.”
This year’s sale was expanded to two days to coincide with Neosho schools not holding classes on Friday, April 5. Garrow said that because of the increased traffic, it would not be beneficial to have that many vehicles on the streets while school was in session.
“Many of the streets are turned into one-way roads for the day because there is so much traffic,” Garrow said. “We have a good volunteer group that gets up early to put up those signs, and we have full cooperation from the city employees, the Police Department and the Newton County Ambulance, and that is how we are successful.”
The chamber advertises the event across a wide area with a small budget. Garrow said the chamber spends about $1,000 on advertising for the sale.
“Our biggest goal is getting the word out and getting people into Neosho neighborhoods,” he said. “We hit newspapers in a wide area to help get the word out, and it has worked for us.”