In previous years, visitors to the annual Parking Lot Pickers in downtown Seymour have had to brave cold, sometimes wet, weather to attend.
But not this year, as bright sunshine and temperatures in the 70s made the perfect backdrop Saturday for the Seymour Main Street event.
“I think it’s turned out well,” said Gloria Cullison, event co-chair and member of the Seymour Main Street promotional committee. “This is the best weather we’ve had.”
Set up like an outdoor flea market, the event allowed people to sell a variety of items such as clothing, household items, toys, crafts, books and antiques. Food and live music also were provided thanks to Peace Lutheran Church and local musical talent.
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Some groups used the event to raise money for causes including the Bloomin’ Librarians Relay for Life team and the Friends of the Jackson County Public Library.
Cullison has been involved with Parking Lot Pickers for the past four years and said she believed this year’s event broke attendance records.
She estimated the turnout to be between 600 and 700 people. Around 50 vendor booths filled the city parking lots on either side of Walnut Street in Seymour.
“It’s great weather and a great crowd and a buying crowd,” said Jane Parson of Seymour, who has set up a booth the past four years.
Although the weather was perfect, the event is popular enough that it brings people out no matter what.
“We’ve been down here when it’s freezing, and we had a good turnout then,” said vendor Theresa Ellis of Columbus.
Parking Lot Pickers developed after Cullison and others saw similar events in nearby cities and towns.
“We liked what they had, but we wanted to bring it downtown and send some of the crowd hopefully to the shops downtown,” Cullison said as she stood at her own booth on Saturday.
“We have a better chance of selling things here than in a garage sale,” Ellis added.
Ellis said her husband once ran a business on the side selling items online and they have sold overflow merchandise from that venture at Parking Lot Pickers for the last three years.
“We get a variety of people looking for everything,” she said. “Why have a garage sale with an unknown amount of publicity when you could come to this and get much larger crowds?”
Cullison said organizing and coordinating the event takes a lot of effort, including creating a separate email account to handle questions and booth reservations.
Booth spots have to be marked out for vendors to know where they are to set up their tables.
A lot of people who set up booths have made friends with their “neighbors” from the previous year and request to be next to them again, Cullison said.
“People just like the fellowship. A lot of people return and they bring their friends,” she added.
Proceeds from the booth reservations go to Seymour Main Street to help with beautification efforts to the downtown.
“The people who set this up are so friendly and helpful,” Parson said. “It’s great. You have so many people and buyers come and it’s one day, then it’s over till next year.”