Junk in the Trunk shoppers were eagerly awaiting the vendors to set up early Saturday morning around the historic Ellis County Courthouse square in downtown Waxahachie.

Before the day could heat up, the vendors’ booths were “on fire” selling a third of their wares before 10 a.m.

“We had shoppers here as early as 6:30 a.m. before the vendors even had a chance to set up,” said Anita Williamson, downtown coordinator for the Waxahachie Downtown Merchants Association. “They just milled around watching the vendors put out their wares and waited eagerly.”

It didn’t take long for most of the vendors to earned back their $35 to rent a space within an hour of opening shop at 8 a.m.

“We rented two booths this morning ($50) and we made our money back in 45 minutes,” Robert Woolheater said. “This is our very first time and we heard about it through word of mouth. Then we saw it advertised on the (Daily Light website) as ‘Junk in the Trunk’ and well we’ve got a lot of that.”

Woolheater’s partner Jim Lather once owned a shop in Cedar Hill. After closing down to retire, Woolheater and Lather decided they would give Junk in the Trunk a shot to sell off their remaining inventory. Woolheater commented that whatever wasn’t sold would be donated to a resale shop in Cedar Hill.

“Today has been fun to enjoy with my friend and we’ve got a lot to peddle and we’re peddling it,” Lather said. “I’m glad we decided to do this and we’ve had great music behind us all morning.”

Junk in Trunk shoppers and vendors were entertained by a group of local musicians, Jim Bush, Bobby Huskins and Dave Yocul, with a guest performance by Robin Fox.

Another first timer making a go of selling her handcrafted wares at the Junk in the Trunk event was Laura Meister.

“This is my first time to do anything like this,” Meister said. “I’ve sold things online but this is my first time to try it in person. I read about how successful this event was and decided to see how I could do with a booth.”

Meister had hand-painted inspirational quotes and artwork for children’s rooms and nurseries for sale.

“I do custom work too, so I can match any nursery décor or color scheme, but most of these are geared towards children,” she said. “I started this for my four kids’ rooms. I just kept doing it and started selling them.”

Michelle Fant and her partner also tried out the downtown venue to sell their antiques and collectibles for the first time on Saturday.

“This event is awesome and the organizers are so friendly and helpful” Fant said. “This is our very first time, but I sure think we will keep coming back. It’s so well organized.”

The Texas gals had a wide array of things to display and sell from collectibles to antiques and home décor to unique, one-of-a-kind items.

“We go to garage sales, flea markets and things just like this (Junk in the Trunk),” Fant said. “All of these items we just picked up on a trip from DFW to Austin. We stopped at hundreds of places along the way and picked out some things to continue our hobby.”

Though about half of the 32 vendors on Saturday were first-timers, there were also many returning sellers who looked forward to the opportunity.

“This is my third time and though I don’t always sell much, all I need is one catch,” Waxahachie Rotarian John Hamilton said. “I’m selling toys from the 1930s and tools earlier than that. Right here is a German WWII helmet.”

As Hamilton talked about disposing of the objects he has collected through the years, a customer picked up pair of 1930s license plates and made a deal with him.

“That’s the deal right there,” he said. “There’s lots of people out here with items for $5 or $20, but if I can get just one sell it’s made my day.”

Hamilton admitted it’s not all about just selling things, he said he enjoyed the “party” as he called it of standing in the courthouse square for four or five hours talking to new people.

Amongst the vendor booths, the WDMA set up a booth to offer information for shoppers and vendors and take sign ups for the next Junk in the Trunk. Williamson noted that she had already taken three sign ups and written down five email addresses to send out applications for October’s Junk in the Trunk.

“This is amazing,” Williamson said. “When we came up with this little venture, I don’t think any of us could have foreseen how popular it was going to become. This has definitely become a staple and a great fundraiser for the merchants association.”

She noted that vendors are always encouraged to get their applications in early as space is limited.

For more information about the next Junk in the Trunk in October or other upcoming events in downtown, contact Williamson at city hall at 469-309-4111 or by email at awilliamson@waxahachie.com, or visit www.downtownwaxahachie.com.

Follow Aaron on Facebook at Facebook.com/AaronSchwadererWDL and on Twitter at Twitter.com/AaronSchwaderer. Contact him at 469-517-1456 or a.schwaderer@waxahachietx.com.