If you're new to Geneva or the Tri-Cities, you've got to go to the St. Peter Barn Sale this year. Mark your calendars now for the weekend of Sept. 17 and 18.
I guarantee that your jaw will drop—and I can pretty much guarantee you'll have a good time. It's one of those events you have to see to believe.
The Barn Sale has been a big deal (literally) in the Tri-Cities for decades. I remember when I was editor of The Geneva Republican way back in the 1980s and '90s, we knew one of the 52 annual cover stories was a no-brainer, barring a really big breaking news story. Our publisher, Wayne Woltman, didn't dictate the front cover very often, but he always made sure we reserved space for the Barn Sale story.
The Barn Sale is a traveling event, which rotates from Catholic church to Catholic church about every decade or so. Right now, we're smack in the middle of the term for in Geneva, which incidentally, is celebration its our fair city.
This year's Barn Sale is a little bit of a back-to-the-future event, returning to a weekend blast at the Kane County Fairgrounds after a year's experiment of spreading it out over a number of summer and fall weekends at other venues—I think including the the Campana Building in Batavia, where the Barn Sale stuff is collected today.
And there is a lot of stuff. Tons of stuff. Acres of stuff. And much of it is really cool stuff.
Inside the landmark Campana Building are bicycles, clothes, glassware, books, computers, housewares, furniture and antiques—all donated to the cause. But there is always room for more, and there are several ways to give.
Donations can be dropped off at the Campana Building—the loading dock entrance is off of Fabyan Parkway just west of Route 31—between 8:30 a.m. and noon on these Saturdays: May 7, 14, 21, June 4, 11, 18 and 25, and July 9, 16 and 23.
You can also drop off donations to the Barn Sale truck parked at the north end of the St. Peter Church parking lot at 1891 Kaneville Road. Or you can schedule a pickup for larger items by calling 630-232-0124, Ext. 310.
About 40 volunteers were at the Campana Building on Saturday—the Nagel family among them—unloading, sorting and preparing donations for the sale. It's just a lot of fun, and you don't have to be a member of St. Peter Church to volunteer. Call the number above or just show up if you'd like to help out.
The Barn Sale is one of those events that Stephen Covey would call a win-win. But it's really a win-win-win-win-win- ... you get the picture.
- It helps the church pay off its 10-year-old debt for an addition to the school and the food pantry.
- It's a way for people to unload or purge their basements in a way that ought to make you feel good.
- It's a wonderful volunteer opportunity—for yourself or a student looking to add those volunteer hours to his or her resume.
- On the eve of Earth Day, it's recycling at its best. Everything old is new again, and the stuff that isn't sold is donated to other charities of given to the poor. The organizers do an amazing job of recycling at the collection site, from cardboard to paper to glass. This is volunteer effort is a green machine.
- And for the shopper, it's a fabulous and way to find amazing bargains—the bicycles usually sell out in the first half hour, so get there early if you want one—and a fun way to spend an afternoon on your own or with your family.
The Barn Sale takes place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18, at the Kane County Fairgrounds.
In the meantime, if you've got something to share or can volunteer your time to a good cause, stop on by the Campana Building, call 630-232-0124, Ext. 310 or visit http://stpeterchurch.com/site/brnsl_homev2.htm.