The Daily Times received complaints via phone and through social media that Tyler Brothers Farm Equipment Inc. was hosting a live auction Saturday, and that large gatherings should not be held during the coronavirus pandemic.
Six phone calls seeking comment from the Maryville equipment supplier were not returned by press time.
Although Tyler Brothers Farm didn’t provide a response to the newspaper, the business announced on Facebook it would still be hosting one of its three yearly liquidation auctions from 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 21, until all items for sale were gone. The post added sanitation stations would be available, Maryville Police Department would provide security and the business would live stream the auction so bids could be made online.
“As always we are prepared for anything, so if you choose to stay home due to the COVID-19 scare, you may still be at the auction online!,” the post states.
When a Daily Times reporter showed up at the event to confirm how many people attended, he was told the event was on private property and asked to leave.
Outside the venue, an auctioneer could be heard selling items in the lot, but a view of the crowd bidding on items was obscured by farm equipment.