WEST LAFAYETTE -- West Lafayette residents know that the first Friday and Saturday in May and September are going to be busy, and many people, both local and out of town will be occupying the streets and sidewalks looking for bargains.

The Yellow Flag Yard/Garage Sales, sponsored by the West Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, were started by the late Jetta Lorenz sometime in the early to mid 1970s, and have grown increasingly popular each year since then. In fact, other nearby towns and villages have started holding similar type community sales based on the Yellow Flag sales.

The sales are a way for residents to rid their homes of unwanted items, and for the prospective buyers to obtain items that they can use -- and at a bargain price. They are also helpful to local business owners as the large amount of people attending the sales increases local revenue during the two days the sales are occurring. The sales have also become a way that family and friends re-connect with each other, and enjoy visiting and shopping together. In the past years, visitors have not only been from out of town but also from out of state. Some of those visiting have been as far away as Florida, Texas, and the New England states.

Each year, the Yellow Flag sales generate money from the minimal fee that is requested of each resident that is participating. The money generated helps pay for the large advertising costs (typically over $500), and other costs associated with the sales that most folks are not even aware of. The money is also put towards advertising for the West Lafayette Hometown Festival that typically follows in July of each year. The West Lafayette Chamber of Commerce Committee wanted to make sure residents were aware of the importance for as many people as possible participating, and paying the minimal fee, as it will ensure that the community can continue having the Yellow Flag sales each year, as well as facilitate the village having a successful Hometown Festival.

The minimal fee will facilitate each participant's sale being included on a listing that

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will be seen by many people throughout the county, and nearby, thus increasing chances that their sale will be more successful. Many of the visitors utilize the listing. Advertising is done through local media (newspapers, radio and local television station). Each participant will also receive a yellow flag to display in their yard. The chamber is requesting that the flags be returned following the sale.

For residents that do not wish to have a yard/garage sale, but still would like to participate, and support the community can donate their $5 fee to the West Lafayette Chamber of Commerce. The committee said they will be very appreciative of any and all donations that are given. The donations can be left at Brother's Hardware or mailed to the West Lafayette Chamber of Commerce. They also wished to mention that the bandstand at Burt Park can also be rented on the days of the sales for individuals that do not have adequate space for a sale at their residence.

The committee said its goal is to continue having the Yellow Flag sales every year as long as residents will participate, and pay the minimal fee, or provide a donation.

The sales begin Friday, May 3 and end on Saturday, May 4.