Whether you consider yourself an avid book worm or social butterfly, this summer, the Back Mountain Memorial Library Auction will be a destination that will far surpass even your wildest expectations and leave you looking for more.
The Back Mountain Memorial Library resides in the historic Dallas Borough High School, on the corner of Franklin Street and Huntsville Road, in Dallas. The community treasure will host its 66th annual fund-raising event July 5-8. Doors will open at 5 p.m., with the old school bell ringing in the start of the auction at 6 p.m.
If you enjoy rummaging through a sprawling flea market, browsing through tables brimming with interesting book titles at amazing prices, or are interested in placing a bid on an immaculate white wicker table and chair set, the auction is where you want to spend an evening, or four.
Some annual staples of the auction include the always lively gardening tent, book nook, and a host of food vendors such as the Dallas Rotary Club stand, The Lands at Hillside Farms Ice Cream, Nice’s Potato Pancakes, and the welcome return of Wild Orchid Catering, to name a few.
Kid’s activities include sand art and games – Thursday night is Family Night. This year’s nightly Bid Time events will feature animals from the Carbon County Environmental Center. The hands-down favorite, Children’s Auction, will take place on Saturday at 10 a.m.
Local Artist Sue Hand will return, paintbrush in hand, to memorialize this year’s event.
Eager to offer a tantalizing glimpse into the cache of donated auction items, Co-chairpersons George and Mary Ann Finch unlocked the coveted auction barn door. As daylight rushed in, a wooden china cabinet readily came into focus. A small display case with several model cars hung on one wall, and an antique baby doll lay nestled in a cradle.
“So far, our ‘wow factor’ items will be three solid oak church pews from St. John’s Roman Orthodox Church, in Edwardsville,” Mary Ann mused.
Donations for the auction have been slowly pouring in, but items will be accepted right up to the start of the event in July. However, items such as musical instruments, electronics, and exercise equipment will not be accepted.
Artwork, stoneware crocks, furniture, and other similar items will be gladly accepted. Donors may call the library at (570) 675-1182 to make collection arrangements.
The long-standing event would not be quite the success if it wasn’t for hundreds of generous volunteers and tremendous community support.
“It really is a community event,” said Back Mountain Library Director Martha Butler. “It draws people back to the area year after year.”
In this day and age, Butler said it is unique to have such an anticipated community social event. Estimating, she said the auction drew more than 10,000 people into the Back Mountain last year.
Hundreds of volunteers begin preparations in January for the upcoming summer event. Mary Ann said the Steering Committee for the auction has only about 30 members, but hundreds of volunteers from throughout the community roll up their sleeves to work at the auction.
“We could not do it if it was not for the volunteers,” she said.
To showcase how much of an impact they make, Mary Ann noted that the theme of this year’s auction will be geared toward the generosity of others.
The Back Mountain Memorial Library Auction started in 1946, not far from its present location, as a major fund-raising event to help cover operating costs.
“The first 20 years, the auction covered about 25% of its operating budget,” Butler said. “Today, the auction covers about 13% of the operating budget, which covers daily operating expenses such as utilities.”
In this age of computers and electronic books, Butler noted that many area residents still enjoy traditional reading, and the library continues to receive upwards of 300 visitors daily.
The Back Mountain Memorial Library offers computer courses and various programs about historical figures, gardening, crafts, and a host of events for children.
“Compared to other libraries, we are pretty busy,” she said.