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Bargains and income opportunities meet at a rummage sale.

The stock market is down. Unemployment numbers are up.

Does this mean people will clean out their closets?

Organizers of a local community rummage sale hope the economic woes of late will bring more sellers to the event this weekend.

"Instead of donating that pile of clothes to Goodwill, you can sell it and make money," said Crystal Davenport, executive director of Downtown Dade City Main Street, the organization behind the event.

The first Main Street rummage sale in April brought more than 50 vendors and hundreds of shoppers.

"We were busy constantly," said Sue Knowlton, who ran a booth at the earlier sale this year. "There were a lot of people there."

Knowlton made several hundred dollars on furniture and home goods after she downsized from a four-bedroom home to a smaller pad.

Part of that money went to Wee Grow'd, a kids' clothing consignment shop Knowlton and her sister opened in June. She won't have a booth at this weekend's sale, but she plans to make an appearance.

"I will go down there Saturday to see if there is anything good I can put in the store," she said.

As for bargain-hunters, organizers hope Knowlton won't be alone.

"I think that with the way the economy is, more people are going to look to buy things second hand," Davenport said.

When it comes to used goods, the area options are dwindling.

In August, the Dade City Goodwill store closed after 15 years of business, partly due to a lack of donations.

Penny Morrill is the CEO of Sunrise of Pasco, a haven for domestic violence victims, which also runs Solutions Thrift Store in Dade City. She said she's seen an increase in shoppers at Solutions, but a drop in donations, partly because of events like this weekend's rummage sale.

"Everyone is doing yard sales," Morrill said. "People are selling the stuff to get the money themselves."

A booth at the rummage sale costs $15. Main Street will accept vendor applications until 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

Helen Anne Travis can be reached at or (813) 435-7312.


If you go

What: Community Rummage Sale

When: 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. Saturday

Where: The lawn surrounding the historic courthouse on Meridian Avenue in Dade City.

Tips for sellers: Arrive early, keep your table organized and negotiate with buyers.