Nova Scotia

History on the hanger: Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo holds yard sale

The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo hosted a yard sale at its Burnside production office and warehouse on Saturday. It featured thousands of costumes and clothing items.

'We're really happy to be able to share and pass on some of our resources'

People look through the racks at the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo's yard sale on Saturday. (Haley Ryan/CBC)

Racks of kilts, military uniforms from decades gone by, and long woolen coats waved in the breeze Saturday as they waited for a new lease on life.

The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo held a yard sale at its production office and warehouse in Dartmouth, N.S. It featured thousands of costumes and clothing items ranging from $5 to $30.

Molly Brown said she loved going to the Tattoo during her years as a Girl Guide, and drove from Windsor with her sister and a friend for the event.

Brown did well — she walked away with a "giant" skirt that resembles a circus tent, a few jackets, and a clown hat that will come in handy for Halloween. 

She said owning pieces of Tattoo history is "amazing."

"I would like to wear some of this stuff, like, just around, like maybe the jackets and stuff, and be, like, 'Yeah, this was in the Tattoo,'" Brown said with a laugh.

"That's so cool."

Molly Brown, 20, drove from Windsor, N.S. to check out the Tattoo yard sale on Saturday. (Haley Ryan/CBC)

Brown said she loved the overall theatrics of the Tattoo, especially aerial performers and the military groups, or even one team that assembled a car during the show.

"That was always just, like, so spectacular to me, and I was always just really excited to go," she said. 

The yard sale was a way to raise money, clear out the things that are no longer being used, and connect with the community after two COVID-19 summers without an in-person festival, said Scott Long.

Long, Tattoo managing director, said there were lots of people looking for Halloween costumes, theatre and dance groups, and even some owners of haunted houses. The selection was just a "small fraction" of the tens of thousands of costumes they have.

Without ticket sales for the past two years, Long said the pandemic has been hard on them and others in the performing arts sector but "we've made it through it."

The Tattoo's yard sale included thousands of clothing, costume and military uniform items from across the decades. (Haley Ryan/CBC)

While it can be hard to see any of the costumes leave, Long said it's comforting to know they are getting a "new life" with different owners.

"That was encouraging for me as well, as we emerge hopefully into a post-pandemic era ... to see that there's cultural groups here with resources to acquire things and they're thinking about their future productions," Long said.

"We're really happy to be able to share and pass on some of our resources."

Long said that the 2021 virtual Tattoo is just wrapping up filming now, and should be released soon.

The Tattoo hopes to return to an in-person show for 2022, featuring "fan favourites" from over the years, Long said.

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