As shoppers search for deals along U.S. 64 this weekend during Bargains Galore on 64, there will be plenty of reasons to seek out indoor venues along the 160-mile yard sale. Providing shoppers a break from the hot sun, several buildings will be open along the route to offer booths and tables for browsing. Restrooms will also be accessible.
First Baptist Church in Beebe is one such location, and senior pastor Bob Hall said this will be the fifth year the church has opened its doors to Bargains Galore on 64 sellers and shoppers.
“We open our Family Life Center — we call it The Anchor — for people who have booths,” he said. “There are probably five or six booths signed up at this point.”
When the church started participating in Bargains Galore on 64 five years ago, Hall said, the youth group had a booth to sell items. Other charitable organizations have also set up shop in The Anchor, and most of the booths currently scheduled for the church building are run by church members.
Hall said he sees the opportunity for First Baptist to be part of the event as both a ministry and a good way of being a visible part of the community. When shoppers step inside out of the sun to browse through items or use the restrooms, there is a chance they will see other things the church does on a regular basis, he said.
“My philosophy is that anytime you can get people on your campus, there is a chance they will want to come back and worship with you,” Hall said.
The 16th annual Bargains Galore on 64 takes place today through Saturday along U.S. 64 between Forth Smith and Beebe. Participating communities include Fort Smith, Van Buren, Alma, Ozark, Altus, Clarksville, Russellville, Atkins, Morrilton, Conway, Vilonia and Beebe. Additional participating towns include Blackwell, Coal Hill, Dyer, El Paso, Hartman, Knoxville, Lamar, London, Menifee, Mulberry, Plumerville and Pottsville.
This event is so large that Southern Traveler magazine designated the sale a “Travel Treasure” by noting that the buyers and sellers are drawn to Bargains Galore not only for the items being offered but also for “the friendly atmosphere and the beautiful vistas that prevail,” according to the sale’s website.
Organizers said there are no limitations on items vendors can sell, but they encourage the sale of antiques and collectibles. Sellers are encouraged to put out yellow “Sale” signs to indicate their participation in the three-day event.
First Baptist Church in Beebe will open the doors of The Anchor from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day of the sale.
In Vilonia, the Vilonia Church of the Nazarene will also open its doors to shoppers and will have vendors and garage sellers at the church building, 1054 Main St.
Karen Noblitt said the congregation is raising funds to build a storm shelter for the church, which will be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day of the sale but will not close if shoppers are still inside.
A concession stand will be available at the church. Today and Friday, a breakfast of sausage gravy and biscuits with bacon will be served. A pancake breakfast will be held Sunday. Lunch will consist of hamburgers and nachos.
For more information, call Noblitt at (719) 375-4032.
Another church in the city, Vilonia United Methodist Church, will rent booths for selling items in the air-conditioned indoors and outside in the parking lot. The booths will be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Friday, and from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The Vilonia United Methodist Women will serve breakfast and lunch during the event. Pastor Nathan Kilbourne will provide smoked pork for lunch. All proceeds from the Vilonia UMC event will support United Methodist Women missions.
For more information about Bargains Galore on 64, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.bargainsgaloreon64.org.
Staff writer Angela Spencer can be reached at (501) 244-4307 or email@example.com.
Staff writer Mark Buffalo contributed to this story. He can be reached at (501) 399-3676 or firstname.lastname@example.org.