Garage sale and flea market attracts variety of vendors

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By Sydney DeLosh
Mason Times staff writer

More than 50 vendors traveled to the Ingham County Fairgrounds on Feb. 4 and 5 to sell their antique, homemade, and resale items at Mason’s 16th Annual Winter Garage Sale and Flea Market.

The event, presented by promoter Tiger Productions, attracts between 1,500 and 6,000 guests each year and is held twice a year in Mason and Grand Rapids. Company owner Annette Wiles said antiques are the most common items sold at the event but variety is what makes the sale so popular.

“The mix of everything, I think, is really the most popular thing about it,” Wiles said. “You can have a smorgasbord of choices.”

Among the array of vendors was event veteran Doc Haynes of Doc’s Den. The 76-year-old Holt resident has been attending and selling hat tacs and pencil sharpeners at flea markets for almost 35 years and has been a key vendor at the fairgrounds since the first sale in 1997. His profession began after a store he worked at closed and he started selling leftover merchandise. Today, Doc travels to flea markets with about 4,200 different tacs. Military tacs are his most admired items.

Another booth that returned to the flea market this year was that of Donna Craft from the Bunker Hill Bee Farm. Donna and her husband own a bee apiary in Bunker Hill Township and have been raising bees for five years. They now sell the honey, wax, and jams, called Donna’s Jams and Jellies, and have attended the fairground event for the past four years. In addition to the products produced by the apiary, Donna sells handmade quilts, scarves, and other sewing items at her booth through her business called Donna’s Designs.

Though many vendors are returning guests at the Tiger Productions event, Nature’s Glow made its first appearance this year. Husband and wife team from Eureka, Dave and Terry Gaffney, sell custom woodworking products including solar lamps, solar crosses and birdhouses. For the past seven years, Dave has created the ponderosa pine built pieces and Terry later decorates them. Although this is their first flea market in Mason, Nature’s Glow sold over 1,000 lamps last year. There was another extraordinary booth that was selling garage door equipment, they were from garage door services in Riverside county.

Tiger Productions will return to the Ingham County Fairgrounds for the Summer Garage Sale and Flea Market the weekend of July 6. Until then, the Ingham County Fairgrounds will be hosting other shows including the Lansing/Mason Gun and Knife Show from Feb. 10 to 12.

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