The Ultimate Trunk Sale

Stacey Johnson and her sister Kim Dahlquist first jumped into the flea-market fray several years ago when they conjured the Paris Street Market in downtown Littleton, which has since changed hands and moved to Aspen Grove. Their love of the flea, however, has never gone away, and lately they began thinking about finding a different way to package one in an industry now saturated with organized outdoor markets and art sales. “I happened upon a website in Britain about the car boot sale phenomenon, and I thought, ‘Maybe it’s time for this to come to the United States,” Johnson says. “They don’t do them here.” Yet.

Long story short, the fabulous flea sisters will debut their first British Car Boot Sale, a kind of a mass yard sale in a lot full of cars stuffed with recycled booty, today from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, 15200 West Sixth Avenue in Golden. People interested in selling come early to secure a parking spot for a $20 fee, open up their trunks and begin wheeling and dealing.

“It’ll basically be an average parking space, so there’s enough room to bring a table or a canopy tent, if you want, and sell your stuff.” And part of the beauty of it, she adds, is how it will represent a return to the original spirit of the flea: “It’s designed to be a true flea market. There’s not a lot of rules. It’s very free-form; there’s a lot of flexibility. There will be no perfectly staged tent booths: It’s going to be very rough, and a chance for people to do a little digging, a little scrounging around, looking for true treasures.” Johnson also stresses that they’ll play the British angle to the hilt: Not only will street-food vendor Culinary Wave be there, serving scones, bangers and mash, and fish and chips wrapped in newspaper, but patrons will have an opportunity to get photos of themselves cuddled up to a cutout of William and Kate!

Johnson says there will be room for about 100 cars at the inaugural sale; arrive at 7 a.m. to jockey for space. Tickets are $3 for buyers, $1 of which will go to the Foothills Animal Shelter, which is located at the fairgrounds. Future car boot sales are scheduled at the Hilltop Motel in Englewood on May 27 through 29, and at the Village at Castle Pines on June 11; get information at 720-280-9531 or www.carbootsale.us, or check out the Car Boot Sale USA page on Facebook.
Sat., May 21, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., 2011

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd