CBA hosts 30th annual Tag Sale on the Green

By Kevin Hotary - Staff Writer
Colchester - posted Mon., Jun. 27, 2011
Some of the crowd that filled the Colchester Town Green at last Sunday's CBA Tag Sale on the Green event. Photos by Kevin Hotary.
Some of the crowd that filled the Colchester Town Green at last Sunday's CBA Tag Sale on the Green event. Photos by Kevin Hotary.

It started 30 years ago as a small sidewalk sale for a few local businesses, and has since grown to become “one of the largest one-day events throughout New England,” according to Colchester Business Association Treasurer Lori Dickinson. 

That event is the CBA’s annual Tag Sale on the Green, which now draws up to 7,000 visitors to peruse the sale items, sample some of the many foods available, get information about different groups and organizations, and enjoy the nearly nonstop entertainment and demonstrations provided by local groups. This year, there was even a scavenger hunt in which participants looked for clues for a chance to win one of several prizes, including a savings bond or gift certificates to several Colchester businesses.

After rain forced the cancellation of the event on its originally-scheduled date of June 12, the weather cooperated last Sunday, June 26, and the town green was filled with visitors. Another rain date would have cancelled the event for the year, said Dickinson.

But for some, like Susan Devita and John Nelson, operators of Spark’Ease Batik and Tie Dye, it’s only because of the rain that they were able to display at the tag sale.

“We did this event about 10 years ago,” said Nelson, and they weren’t planning to come this year either. But the rain date fell on an open day for them, and they were able to return to Colchester from their home in Bristol, R.I.

“These are fun people,” said Nelson, happy to be back at the CBA tag sale.

While some sellers, like De and Ernie Tavares, operators of Watkins Apothecary, have been coming to the CBA tag sale for 15 years or more, others were making their first appearance this year.

Alicia, a young Colchester resident, set up a booth to sell dog bandanas, which she and a friend of hers design and make. With multiple sizes and patterns, the bandanas are “easy to put on,” said Alicia, because of a special design feature she and her friend developed that allows the dog’s collar to slide through the cloth.

On only her second time out marketing her bandanas, Alicia said that the response at the CBA event “has been really good.”

Theresa Manning, who was visiting the tag sale for the first time, was also impressed with Alicia’s dog bandanas.

“I just wish I had a dog,” she said.

While many of the booths were filled with goods - both new and used - for sale from various merchants and organizations, a number of CBA members bought and then donated booth space to charitable or nonprofit groups.

Workers from Prudential Connecticut Realty manned a booth donated to the Sunshine Kids Foundation, which provides fun and exciting activities for kids with cancer. The Bacon Academy cheerleaders also ran a booth, providing helium balloons for donations to go toward the purchase of new uniforms.

“So far, so good,” said cheerleading coach Kaitlyn Hogan, as a fairly steady stream of visitors helped fill the donation jar.

“We need new uniforms,” she said, as the size of the squad continues to grow, and the uniforms take a beating from year to year.

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