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Garage-sale-style fairs coming to the downtown

Organizer hopes events will help Fourth Fridays, farmers market

STERLING – Residents will have a new opportunity to buy, sell and trade.

Starting next month, the downtown Sterling Street Faire will be open on the second and fourth weekends of the month, from 3 to 7 p.m. or later Fridays and from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.

Sterling Centers is the event's sponsoring organization.

"We picked Friday, May 24, to kick off the Sterling Street Faire because it coincides with Sterling's Fourth Fridays, and we're a huge supporter of Fourth Fridays and their organization," Doug Wiersema, general manager of Sterling Centers, said in a statement. "We hope our venue will add more traffic to downtown and support their work."

The fair will be in the 300 block of West Third and Fourth streets, just west of County Market.

"It's what we are calling the West Town District and includes Sterling Centers (the former Wayne Dalton/Frantz Manufacturing building) and the two parking lots just to the north of Sterling Centers," Wiersema said in the statement.

The fair is open to anyone.

"From experience, we know that garage sales do better when they are congregated," he said. "The people who regularly go to garage sales always look for the locations where there are the most sales in our area. Our fair can consolidate those garage sales and hopefully get bigger crowds and more sales."

The fee to sell will be $25 for the weekend, but nonprofits will not be charged. Most of the $25 fee will be spent on advertising, insurance and a fair coordinator, he said.

Certain rules will apply. People can buy, sell or trade anything except firearms, fireworks, animals or other commodities prohibited by law or anything that violates trademark, trade name or copyright laws.

No garden produce will be sold on Saturdays because a "vibrant" Twin City Farmers Market already is held downtown on that day, Wiersema said. "And we don't intend to compete with them, but rather support them."

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