Unique, historic items up for auction

AUCTION ITEMS: Darlene Eaton Novak and her granddaughter, Appollonia Impellizzeri, are organizing the first ever Historic Downtown Summer Auction Event. The event will start at 10 a.m. on June 11 in downtown Big Rapids. Organizers stand with some of the hundreds of items to be auctioned off. (Pioneer photo/Jonathan Eppley)

Hundreds of artifacts will be sold to highest bidders on June 11

BIG RAPIDS — Shoppers driving all over Mecosta County hunting for their next great deal, will get a little reprieve next weekend. Instead of burning through $4 per gallon gas going from sale to sale, buyers can travel to downtown Big Rapids, where the deals will come to them.

Darlene Eaton Novak and her granddaughter, Appollonia Impellizzeri, of the Big Rapids Antique Shoppe, are working with the Downtown Business Association and Currie/Parker Auction Services to organize the first-ever Historic Downtown Summer Auction Event. The event will feature unique items from more than 20 downtown businesses and organizations to be auctioned off in a central location.

“The businesses have made this like an ‘auction fair,’ because they’re bringing things that their store might not ordinarily have or been able to sell, including antiques and furniture they want to get rid of,” Eaton Novak said. “There will be some real good buys there, like trivets from the 1800s, old streetlight posts, 200 to 300 bicycles and more.”

The event will start at 10 a.m. on June 11 on Michigan Avenue between Maple and Elm streets. The block will be closed to traffic. Participating businesses will have booths set up on the sidewalk and auctioneers will go from booth to booth until every item is sold.

Auctioneer Phil Currie expects the event to last up to five hours, depending on the number of participants.

“All the auctions I’ve been to, I’ve never seen anything like this (all in one location),” Currie said. “Bidders will get some good buys on stuff that stores could not get rid of, and a lot of nice historical stuff, too. I think we’ll draw a good crowd based on shopper curiosity alone.”

Businesses participating in the event will receive 80 percent of the profits from the sale of their items. Ten percent of the profits will go to the auction company, five percent to the DBA and the remainder is for event advertising. Several gift baskets containing gift certificates and promotional discounts to local businesses also will be up for auctioned at the event.

Those interested in bidding on auction items will register at the auction tent the morning of the event. Buyers will be responsible for securing and transporting the items they win at auction.

This is the first event of its kind in Big Rapids. Impellizzeri hopes it will become an annual event and spark local interest in downtown.

“We’re hoping this auction will kick off what we need to bring people into the area, maybe those who haven’t really discovered downtown yet,” Impellizzeri said. “It’s a kick off for what we could really start doing with this area.”

For more information about the auction, contact the Big Rapids Antique Shoppe at (231) 796-7300. The shoppe has a list of many of the items to be sold at auction, which also are viewable online at www.currieparkerauction.com.

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Posted by Jonathan Eppley

Jonathan Eppley is news editor for the Pioneer. He designs and copy edits the Pioneer daily, and manages staff in the evening. Eppley joined the Pioneer staff in 2010. He can be reached at (231) 592-8357 or at jeppley@pioneergroup.com.

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