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Neosho City-Wide Sale – The Thrill of the Hunt

This weekend is one of my favorite events of the year. April 6th and 7th is the Neosho, Missouri city-wide sale. That means that the residents of Neosho haul their treasures out to the their yards and garages to wheel and deal with thousands of bargain shoppers. This year is the 30th annual sale, and there are over 400 individual sales to visit.

This is a huge event with an almost carnival type atmosphere. Neosho is the county seat of Newton County, Missouri and boasts a population of 11,835 people. Some residential streets are made one way only and certain places are blocked off in order to control traffic.

Up on Oak Ridge Drive, there are vendors selling popcorn, hot dogs, tacos, and burgers among other things. There are multiple fund raisers selling everything from chocolate dipped pretzels and brownies to raffle tickets. You find a spot to park and then walk for miles of sale after sale. Oak Ridge Drive isn’t the only street jam packed with sales. They are everywhere. You just need to follow the signs.

My best friend and I make the trek to Neosho every year in search of treasure. The thrill of the hunt motivates us to climb hill after hill and brave all manner of weather in the process. We’ve braved humid heat, blistering cold, hail, ice, flooding, high winds, pouring rain, and tornado threats to visit the sales. We’ve learned to prepare for anything. We dress in layers and bring hoodies, coats, gloves, umbrellas, sunglasses, hats, and lots of snacks.

We decided to have our adventure on Friday this year due to our schedules. We always find the best stuff on Fridays, anyway. We had gorgeous weather during the morning hours. The sun was shining and the temperature started out in the lower fifties and rose to the sixties before drastically dropping down into the forties in the afternoon with thick cloud cover.

We always find amazing bargains and some things that are just way overpriced. We laugh about the silly things we see such as nearly empty foaming hand soap bottles marked $1.00. We get googly eyed over the ornate furniture and amazing art that we would love to have in our homes if only we had the space, We celebrate our finds as we traipse up and down the steep hills that comprise the city. We laugh like we did back when we were teenagers.

My bestie found a set of eight sturdy stoneware plates for $3.00. The lady at the sale had neither box nor bag that would hold her plates. So, she clutched them to her chest and held tight while we climbed the several blocks of steep incline to the car. Who needs a treadmill when we have Neosho? We wrapped the plates in some hand towels that I had bought and nestled them in my grandchildren’s car seat. They rode there safe and sound for over eight hours.

We left my house around 7:30 a.m. and returned just after 4:00 p.m. with my car packed full of treasures. My favorite deal from this year is a toss up between a gorgeous illustrated edition of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens and an old toy cash register complete with conveyor belt, scanner, price list, and microphone. I purchased several other books, a stuffed pony that’s bigger than my grandchildren, a Dooney & Bourke wallet, some kitchen items, several candles, document frames, and some fabulous toys for my babies among other things.

Most of the people are super friendly and embrace the fun of the event. Many tell amusing tales while we dig through their treasures. One gent advised me against using the frying pan that I bought from him to keep my husband in line. He was full of funny little quips. We even found a nice lady who was handing out free hot chocolate to thirsty shoppers.

We have attended nearly every city-wide sale Neosho has hosted. We make it a point to clear our schedules for it every year. I even drove back to attend the sale with my dear friend when I lived in Springfield. For us, it means spending time together having fun, finding hidden treasures, and the mighty thrill of the hunt. We can hardly wait to see what’s over the next hill.

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