Big Grab Gets Bigger

Shoppers, Merchants Ready for Sept. 11-12 Yard Sale Crawl

Organizers for this year’s Big Grab event, Denise Jones (Ridgeway), Terry Vickers (Winnsboro) and Jean Bell (Blythewood), kicked off last year’s Big Grab with an early morning interview with WLTX-TV in an already crowded downtown Blythewood.

Organizers for this year’s Big Grab event, Denise Jones (Ridgeway), Terry Vickers (Winnsboro) and Jean Bell (Blythewood), kicked off last year’s Big Grab with an early morning interview with WLTX-TV in an already crowded downtown Blythewood.

BLYTHEWOOD/FAIRFIELD COUNTY – Shops, restaurants, service stations, hotels and other merchants in Blythewood, Winnsboro and Ridgeway are stocked and ready for the invasion that will happen next week when the fourth annual 43-mile Big Grab yard sale descends on the three towns and everything in between. Already businesses and residents along the sale route are renting 12×12-foot patches of their parking lots to vendors.

And the Big Grab is not just for businesses anymore. Some churches found the sale so lucrative last year that their members have been collecting and storing items for it all year. One church in downtown Winnsboro reported sales last year of more than $4,000.

The event promises to bring some of the best profits the towns’ shops will see this year.

“It was two of the best days we’ve ever had,” Kristen Statton said of last year’s Big Grab. Owner of two Bits and Pieces Consignment shops in downtown Blythewood, Stratton said everything in the store was 25 percent off with some items marked down to half price. “Lines of shoppers were carrying purchases out the door all day.”

“Us, too,” echoed Liz Humphries, owner of Blythewood Consignment. “Our store was packed both days. It was great.”

Even shops not normally associated with used merchandise, such as the Tea Rooms in Winnsboro and Ridgeway and Over The Top dress boutique in Ridgeway, also reported multiple lines at their checkout counters both days of the event. Louise Ruff, 11, made more than $200 on the home-baked cookies, brownies and breads she sold at her little sidewalk booth in Ridgeway.

“By noon on Friday I had sold everything my mom and I baked for the weekend,” she said. “So we had to bake more that evening for Saturday.”

Hotels, restaurants and service stations in all three towns also reported a significant uptick in business. Larry Sharpe, owner of three Sharpe Shoppes and the Bojangles in Blythewood, said his business during the two days was up 25 percent more than when the rodeo comes to town every summer.

Terry Vickers, chairwoman of the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce, said organizers are expecting vendors and shoppers from several states away again this year.

“It’s great for our businesses, and it’s great for our resident shoppers who get to browse all this stuff brought to our doorstep by outside vendors,” Vickers said. “Prices are great and the selection, well, there’s no end to it. It’s phenomenal!”

While traffic slowed to a crawl at times during last year’s Big Grab, Vickers said traffic issues should be greatly alleviated this year. The Town of Blythewood contributed $1,000 for deputies to assist in traffic control and another $1,000 for advertising costs. The Town of Winnsboro contributed $500, and Ridgeway, $200.

“Every year we get more organized,” said Denise Jones whose brainstorm it was for the three towns to host a multi-mile yard sale three years ago during her tenure as president of the Board of the Fairfield Chamber. “It caught on and has really been a fun, lucrative event for our three communities,” Jones said. “We appreciate not only our venders and volunteers who make it happen, but we appreciate all those folks who come out to shop and have a good time. It helps our businesses, the economy of our communities and just about everyone takes home a great find!”

The sale will run from dawn ‘til dark Friday, Sept. 11 and Saturday, Sept. 12. For those still needing a space to sell their wares, check out available rental spaces at Stay up to date on the Big Grab Facebook page Organizers are asking shoppers/vendors to not park in front of mail boxes along the route. For more information about the event, call 803-635-4242 (Fairfield County), 803-337-2213 (Ridgeway) and 803-550-9323 (Blythewood).


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