Bill Loesche has all sorts of Micro Machines. Once quite a collector of the cars, trucks, planes, boats, tanks and other miniatures, he’s ready to part with some of his toys.
If I didn’t prefer a Matchbox Porsche 911, I’d be in his north Everett yard first thing Saturday in search of a tiny-car bargain.
Every summer, on the first Saturday in August, Everett’s Northwest Neighborhood turns into an outdoor marketplace and multi-block party known as the Mother of All Garage Sales. Scheduled for 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, this will be the neighborhood’s 10th annual sale.
“We’ve probably done it six out of the 10 years,” said Loesche, 64, who lives in a 1912 vintage Rucker Avenue home. He and his wife, Janet, have a contest each year to guess which of their sale items will go first. “We’ve never been right,” Loesche said.
For the third year, Everett’s Bayside Neighborhood will host its own Mother of All Garage Sales adjacent to its entrepreneurial neighborhood to the north.
“They wanted to piggyback onto our great success,” said Kari Quaas, chairwoman of the Northwest Neighborhood Association. Karen McAllister, who heads the Bayside Neighborhood group, said participation there is growing, with several Rucker and Grand avenue homes south of 19th Street joining in the event.
“It’s really fun to engage with people,” Quaas said. “They come from all walks of life and make a day of it.”
Her home is part of the sale — last year Quaas sold an old mangle iron — but she’ll start Saturday morning at Drew Nielsen Neighborhood Park on the northwest corner of Colby Avenue and 13th Street. There, visitors will find maps marking sale sites, food trucks and portable toilets.
About 80 Northwest Neighborhood homes registered early enough to be listed on the printed map, Quaas said. An online map includes as many as 100 houses hosting yard sales.
The sale was started by former Northwest Neighborhood leader Paul Donovan, “a genius marketer,” according to Shelley Sutton, who also once headed the group. Quaas said the sale actually began 11 summers ago. It didn’t happen in 2015, when streets were torn up by the city’s massive “Sewer M” project.
A moneymaker, the sale was also helping people declutter long before Marie Kondo’s tidy-up craze took hold.
“I sold a TV and a bicycle for $5 each. It was more about getting them out of the house,” said Quaas, who in her best year earned $700 in the sale.
Some households donate proceeds. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Zonta Club of Everett are among nonprofits that will benefit this year, Quaas said.
“Mom used to make more than $1,000 for our Girl Scout troop,” said Hannah Willard, 23, who on Monday was preparing for the sale with her mother, Carol Wheeler. Tables were filled in the garage of the Colby Avenue home Wheeler shares with her husband, Bill Willard.
Among their ready-to-sell treasures were delicate teacups, retro Christmas decor, linens with hand-crocheted edging, and a large-size Gonzaga University sweatshirt. One teacup, with a picture of Queen Elizabeth (the “Queen Mum”) and King George VI, commemorated a 1939 royal visit to Canada. I wanted it, but left that coveted item for Saturday shoppers.
Once during the sale, Hannah Willard said she and a friend drove around the neighborhood snapping up everything the friend needed to furnish an apartment. This year, Wheeler is selling antique twin beds, a dresser and nightstand.
Some yards feature music, at others there may be a meal.
Tamales will be for sale at the Grand Avenue home of John Cronan and his wife, Faye Sturtevant. Cronan said the tamales and Mexican street corn known as elote are prepared by members of La Palabra Viviente United Methodist Church. “I volunteered teaching English there,” said Cronan, adding that the food sale benefits the south Everett church.
His wife sells antiques in Snohomish, and their sale items include furniture. They’ve made as much as “a few thousand dollars” during the sale, Cronan said. “We average about $1,000.” At times, the sale brings the mother of all traffic jams. “People drive by, they see something and just stop in the middle of the road — and go shopping,” he said.
“As far as what goes, what surprises us is that most everything goes,” Cronan said. “Priced right, people will buy it.”
Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mother of All Garage Sales
Everett’s Northwest Neighborhood hosts its 10th annual Mother of All Garage Sales 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. About 100 homes are included, from Legion Park south to 19th Street and Broadway west to Grand Avenue. Food trucks, sale maps and toilets located at Drew Nielsen Neighborhood Park, 1230 Colby Ave.
The Bayside Neighborhood, between Hewitt Avenue and 19th Street, from Broadway west to Port Gardner, also has a Mother of All Garage Sales scheduled for 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.