Johnstown Independent

Johnstown gets ready to trade

Swappers Day, yard sales expected to draw thousands over Labor Day weekend


While it's not usual for neighborhoods and communities to band together for yard sales and garage sales, what will play out in Johnstown over Labor Day weekend has grown to become a shopper's paradise.

The popular Swappers Day, the Johnstown Historical Society's flea market and countless community sales, bring thousands of people to the village each year.

"There's always a little bit of something for everyone," said Bill Tate, a spokesman for the Johnstown Community Sportsman's Club, which organizes the event centered around a flea market. "This is the 69th year for it, and I would venture to guess you'll see 5,000 people here or more."

From Saturday, Aug. 31, through Monday, Sept. 2, more than 750 vendors, including those who sell food, will show off their wares for sale at the Sportsman's Club, 7357 Sportsman Club Road, east of U.S. Route 62.

Swapper's Day began with a group of sportsmen who wanted to race their prize dogs across a man-made pond on the property. The event continues to feature dog trials, which begin at noon each day. There also will be an archery tournament and games of chance to benefit local nonprofit groups.

The Sportsman's Club is a 501c3 organization that provides scholarships and other opportunities for children.

Admission is $5; children 12 and under are admitted free. Parking also is free, with shuttle service provided to the gates, open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

"We see an increase in traffic, but nothing our infrastructure can't handle," Village Manager Jim Lenner said. "Visitors can expect longer delays coming through town. The real deal is entering the Sportsman's Club. There are long delays entering the grounds."

Roughly 30 vendors will take part in the Johnstown Historical Society event, which features everything from glassware to dollar items. Proceeds benefit the organization's preservation of artifacts that belong to the village.

The historical society flea market, in its 16th year, will be set up on the town square at the intersection of state route 37 and U.S. Route 62. Hours are noon to dusk Friday, Aug. 30; 8 a.m. to dusk Saturday, Aug. 31; and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1.

It's the society's only money-making project of the year.

"Vendors sell just about everything except for animals, guns and bottled water," Downtown Johnstown Inc. board member Marvin Block said. "The American Legion will be selling bottled water."

Block estimates more than 200 Johnstown community garage sales will be held over the Labor Day weekend.