Come Early, Stay Late, and Shop Both Days for the Best Bargains in Ouray County
OURAY – Ouray’s biggest shopping event of the year is right around the corner. The Woman’s Club of Ouray County holds its huge annual Rummage Sale on Friday, June 20 from 10 to 4 p.m. and on Saturday, June 21 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Ouray Community Center.
The highly anticipated two-day event offers great bargains on gently used clothing (women, men, kids), shoes, hats, handbags, jewelry, luggage, sports equipment, camping gear, toys, furniture, household goods and home decor, linens, gifts, artwork, books, music, holiday items and all manner of gadgets and gizmos.
True rummage sale diehards look forward to the event all year long, and come back several times while it is underway, lining up on Friday morning to get first dibs on the best stuff, then returning on Saturday for a half-price sale, and finally, an 11th-hour dollar-bag sale (in which anything you can fit in a grocery bag costs just $1.)
Along the way, there is a lot of fun to be had, what with gag gifts, outrageous dress-up opportunities, and good-natured scrapping over who gets to buy which coveted items.
You never know what you are going to find – bridal gowns, real stuffed geese, Hollywood clothing, you name it. Once, there was even a donated toilet.
“And do you know, somebody bought it and they were going to put it out in their front yard and plant flowers in it,” said WCOC member Vicki Caldwell, who first shopped the sale shortly after she and her husband bought a second home near Ouray in the 1980s. Caldwell bought all her pots and pans and dishes at the rummage sale, and has been involved with the WCOC and its signature event ever since.
Nobody really knows for sure when this Ouray tradition first got started. It was well-established in the early 1970s, back when the local chapter of the American Association of University Women ran the show (the WCOC, a philanthropic and community service organization dating back to 1897, inherited the event).
It is now the club’s primary fundraiser of the year, typically raking in $7,000-$9,000. WCOC distributes proceeds in the form of grants to over 25 nonprofit organizations throughout the county each fall.
“It takes a lot of quarters and dollar bills,” Caldwell said.
Community members can donate items to the WCOC Rummage Sale throughout the year, but most donations are made in the days immediately preceding the event. Club members are currently accepting gently-used clothing, furniture, luggage, sporting equipment, books, household goods, toys, jewelry, acceptable electronic items, knick-knacks and much more. Clothing should be clean and in good repair. No TVs, broken furniture, used mattresses, downhill skis or boots, auto parts, exercise machines, paint, or toxic liquids are accepted.
For questions about donations or to schedule a pickup, please call Vivian at 970/325-0228 or Donna at 970/325-7254. Last-minute donations can also be delivered directly to the Ouray Community Center on Wednesday, June 25 while club members are setting up for the sale.
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