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WEST CHESTER — Garage sales have taken on a whole new meaning in West Chester.
The first floor of the Chestnut Street Parking Garage will be transformed from a lot of cars to a sale of vintage items, food and live music for the Vintage Market on Friday.
“This is our fourth year running the series,” said Keith Kurowski, director of the West Chester Parks and Recreation Department. “The Vintage Market has been on the uptick the last couple years and we’re just looking to provide an area where people can come and get those vintage, one-of-a-kind finds and providing another service to the borough.”
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Roughly 20 vendors will be on hand from 4 to 9 p.m. in the garage to sell vintage items.
“You can expect to see vendors selling vintage home good and accessories, re-purposed furniture and architectural salvage, along with many other -one-of-a-kind finds,” Kurowski said. “It’s a blend of the old and the new. There will be artists, crafters and people that are taking their ideas and making them come to life.”
The Vintage Market will take place on the bottom level of the Chestnut Street Parking Garage, taking over the metered-parking area.
“One of our sponsors, Finnerty Landscaping, comes in and turns the garage into something that doesn’t look like a garage,” Kurowski said. “We make it look a little more inviting and a little more friendly so it’s just not concrete walls. We bring in lighting, plants, seating and live music. We just try to make it a little something different.”
Even though the bottom level won’t hold any cars for the night, that doesn’t mean people won’t be able to park in the upper levels.
“That’s the best part,” Kurowski said. “They can park right upstairs on any of the top five or six levels, take the elevator down and they’re right at the market.”
Friday night will see thousands flood to West Chester because of three big events.
First, the Vintage Market will happen from 4 to 9 p.m., then it’s First Friday in the borough with free street parking after 5 p.m. and the Budweiser Clydesdales will parade through town from 6 to 8 p.m.
“I think it will be beneficial,” Kurowski said. “The parking garages and lots are going to be full and people will hopefully get to town early to avoid the traffic and they are going to hopefully wander through the market and purchase something they see and like. Maybe they’ll make a connection with the vendor over some nice things and they can purchase later in their store or online store.”
The combined events should give the Vintage Market an increase in attendance, even though they usually already draw a fair amount of people.
“We usually get a nice crowd,” Kurowski said. “Through the five hours of the event, we look at maybe 3,000 to 4,000 people who wander through. Even if you just happen through for 10 minutes, sit down in one of the seats provided and enjoy some music, then go enjoy your dinner or meeting with friends in town.”
Kurowski recommends anyone planning to attend the Vintage Market to make sure to arrive earlier than usual. The Clydesdales parade is sure to draw over 10,000 people to the borough.
As for next year, the hope is to continue with the Vintage Market.
“As long as we get Borough Council approval, we’ll be doing it again next year,” Kurowski said. “We have had a pretty good success rate with the event over the last four years.”