The local antiquing community has been abuzz since the hit TV series, “American Pickers,” announced plans to return to Arkansas to film episodes in mid-October or November.
However, those who are on the hunt for antiques or unique collectibles will have another opportunity to “pick” during the fourth annual Bargains for You on Highway 82, which is set for Oct. 20 and 21.
The multi-city, yard sale will be held along U.S. 82 in Magnolia, El Dorado, Strong and Crossett.
Organizers said vendors typically begin setting up around 7 a.m. and remain on-site from “daylight until dark” — or until the last shopper leaves.
The event was launched in 2013 by the Union County Antique Dealers Association to help make El Dorado and South Arkansas a destination for antiques.
The UCADA has since dissolved, and Bargains — which initially stretched 160 miles on U.S. 82 between Texarkana and Lake Village, with El Dorado falling about midway along the route — has been tweaked to better serve shoppers and sellers.
This year, Reagan Stanford, of AnnTeeKeys Antiques, Flea Mall and Auctions in Strong, took the lead in organizing Bargains and securing sponsors.
AnnTeeKeys is a former member of the UCADA and has been a vendor since the launch of Bargains, said Robyn Stanford, also of AnnTeeKeys.
Interest has grown since the inaugural event, and over the years, organizers have reviewed what has and hasn’t worked and adjusted accordingly.
For instance, buyers have expressed appreciation for a more condensed route on U.S. 82, Robyn Stanford said.
Bargains started out as a three-day event, beginning on Thursday and continuing through Saturday.
Robyn Stanford said vendors reported higher participation from shoppers on Friday and Saturday, so the days were cut to the two that seemed more convenient for shoppers.
Part yard sale, part swap meet and part flea market, Bargains has drawn shoppers and sellers from throughout the state and Louisiana, Texas, Tennessee and Alabama.
Professional vendors set up alongside individuals, churches, businesses and groups from participating communities, and all display and sell their wares to interested buyers.
Some groups have used Bargains as a fundraiser, organizers have said.
The city of Strong has consistently posted a large contingent of participants for Bargains, and organizers hope for a strong showing from all of the other communities along the route.
Last year, Robyn Stanford said between 75 and 100 shoppers were counted each day on AnnTeeKeys’s parking lot.
Providing a “soft number,” Robyn Stanford said approximately 70 to 80 vendors participated last year.
As always, those who would like to set up shop for Bargains may do so by finding a spot along the sale route, getting the property owner’s permission and posting a sign to attract shoppers.
For more information, visit the Bargains Facebook page or www.annteekeys.com or call 870-797-3018.
Sellers may also list the address/location of their sale site on the Facebook page to help make it easier for customers to move between sites.
Organizers also thanked sponsors for the 2017 event and encouraged shoppers to also visit sponsor locations to shop.
Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or tlyons@ eldoradonews.com.