VALPARAISO | Bargain hunters set their sights on the Porter County Fairgrounds as droves of people poured through the aisles Saturday at The Times Ultimate Indoor Garage Sale.
Katie Dorsey, marketing coordinator with The Times Media Co., who along with NIPSCO sponsored the event, said thousands of people from around the Calumet Region and South Suburbs came through the doors looking for hidden treasures during the daylong event.
The dank weather didn't dampen the early crowds. Before the doors opened for general admission at 8:30 a.m., a line of people snaked through the parking lot.
Inside the Expo Center, browsers scanned the aisles in three exhibition halls, looking through more than 200 booths for a variety of new and vintage items.
Friends Nicole Delacruz, of Munster, and Nicole LaPinne, of Lansing, had their young sons with them, taking advantage of early bird hours. By the time the doors opened for general admission, they'd already taken a number of items to their car.
"She made one run and I made another," Delacruz said.
LaPinne said she found a number of SpongeBob SquarePants items for her son Mason, along with some Chicago Bears booties.
"There's a lot of kids' stuff," LaPinne said.
Kassy Wrenn-Denesuk, of Hebron, has been coming to the event every year since it began in 2007 and said she always discovers unique items. Among the finds she was taking to her car Saturday were a large antique birdcage, vintage mirrors and an antique metal basin.
"Treasure. These are all treasures," Wrenn-Denesuk said. "I've been coming to this every year for the past five years and I always find treasures."
Wrenn-Denesuk, who owns a resale shop in Valparaiso, said she and her friend Dedra Downham, of Lafayette, frequent garage and estate sales and always find the Ultimate Indoor Garage Sale to be among the more unique.
"We go to yard sales all summer long and we already have our plan set out. This one, this is our primer every year," Wrenn-Denesuk said.