The Big Grab is on!

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 this weekend, Sept. 6 and 7, when the eighth annual 50-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.

“Rain or shine, it’s on,” Blythewood Mayor J. Michael Ross said on Tuesday. “The merchants and churches and lots of family yard sales are ready for the crowds. We’re hoping not to have any interference from the hurricane. I think it will be a nice day for shopping, lots of shopping,” Ross said. “So come on out.”

The Big Grab is not just for businesses. Churches have found the sale so lucrative that their members have been collecting and storing items for it all year. One church in downtown Winnsboro reports sales of $5,000 and $6,000. Members of another church, the Church of Nazarene, have so many rooms of furniture and household items that they have arranged their merchandise like a Rooms-to-Go store, with living rooms, dining rooms, baths, bedrooms and kitchens. They are also stocked with a large number of antique pieces such as a 1940’s telephone bench.

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

While the towns’ consignment shops usually take the lead in Big Grab sales, restaurants and boutiques also report multiple lines at checkout counters both days of the event.

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 is sometimes up 25 percent more than when the rodeo comes to town.

Gene Stephens, president 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,” Stephens said. “Prices are great and the selection, well, there’s no end to it. It’s phenomenal!”

In Blythewood, the park is off limits to vendors this year, but the downtown area is open and there are still vacant spots for vendors.

For those still looking for vendor space, call 803-635-4242 in Fairfield County and 803-691-6808 in Blythewood.

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