Auctioneer Scott Cook opened the bidding for a piece of farm equipment Saturday, using a rapid staccato voice, at $7,000. He quickly coaxed bidders into raising their hands, and within 90 seconds, the item sold for $25,000.

Auctioneer Scott Cook opened the bidding for a piece of farm equipment Saturday, using a rapid staccato voice, at $7,000. He quickly coaxed bidders into raising their hands, and within 90 seconds, the item sold for $25,000.

His truck then rolled about 25 feet to the next item for sale.

Cook was one of the auctioneers at Saturday’s twice-a-year Consignment Auction at Wheeler Auction on U.S Highway 24 just outside of Paris. Nearly 1,800 people registered to bid on some 2,600 pieces of farm equipment and tools were offered by owners for sale. The auction is staged the last Saturday of January and the last Saturday of July.

This has become a huge event over the past decade. Saturday’s auction drew more than 5,000 people for the event, which started at 9 a.m. and went well into the evening, with several hundred people still on the grounds at 7:30 p.m.

Pickup trucks hauling trailers with golf carts and off-road vehicles came in a steady stream on Highway 154 and U.S. Highway 24 coming into Paris on Saturday morning. The grass fields of the Wheeler site were jammed with cars and trucks, and overflow traffic parked across the highway. The off-road vehicles are good for traversing the several hundred acres of equipment, laid out in neat rows.

The fast-paced event featured four auction trucks moving up-and-down the rows of equipment, stopping every 20 or 25 feet to rapidly sell an item and then move to the next.

David Sprock and Melissa Staley of Laddonia made the 40-mile trip for the event, as they have for several years. Staley quickly spotted what she wanted — a 1991 model fifth-wheel camping trailer.

“I got it for $3,400,” Staley said, adding that had seen similar models for as much as $8,500. “It seems to be a good day for buyers.”

Sprock, meanwhile, a farmer who competes in tractor pulls, said that he was always on the lookout for good buys on equipment. “It is fun to buy here, and you can never tell what is for sale,” he said.

Don Van Loo, an electrical contractor from Jefferson City, drove his off-road four-wheel drive vehicle around looking for items to bid on.

“I don’t farm but I have all kinds of equipment that I collect,” Van Loo said as he was observing bidders crowded around a table of tools that were being rapidly sold by an auctioneer. “I just like to collect equipment…and this is a good place for that.”

Larry Wooten, who wore a badge as bidder No. 826, was taking a break from the bidding action with some friends.

“I’ve been coming to this auction for 10 years…I haven’t bought anything yet, but I am still looking,” he said.