Calling all yard sale enthusiasts! This is definitely an event you’re not going to want to miss. The Historic National Road Yard Sale is an 824-mile yard sale along America’s oldest highway, US Route 40. Held the Wednesday after Memorial Day weekend every year, May 29th to June 2nd, it’s the time for small businesses or anyone who has stuff to get rid of to set up shop and start selling.
This huge yard sale starts out of Baltimore, crosses the Appalachian Mountains, dips into West Virginia and Pennsylvania, then rolls through the heartlands all the way to East St. Louis, as told oh-so-beautifully by Pamela Keech’s book The Best Flea, Antique, Vintage, and New-Style Markets in America</>. The sale starts that Wednesday and continues on to the following Sunday, allowing for plenty of time to roam around and see what everyone’s got.
The yard sale was founded by Patricia McDaniel, according to Keech’s book. She’s the owner of Old Storefront Antiques on the National Road in Dublin, Indiana. She said she wanted to create something affordable for everyone to enjoy, and who doesn’t love a good yard sale, nevermind miles upon miles of all different kinds?
Along the National Road Yard Sale you will not only find thousands of families and vendors selling their wares, but also businesses along the route. A listing of some businesses and yard sales can be found on the official website of US 40, nationalroadyardsale.com. Yard sales can post their listing for free and businesses have to pay a small fee of $39.95 per year.
The National Road’s Facebook page also keeps a running tab of what’s happening and where, and every year it seems more sales pop up. The best sales seem to happen on the Friday and Saturday of this event, and most shops along the way will even stay open later than usual to let any stragglers have a look around. Pop-up stores will even appear in abandoned gas stations and old sheds, according to Keech’s book.
For yard sale lovers planning to travel the entire National Road, there are plenty of historic inns and bed and breakfasts to stay at. Make sure to look up the places beforehand or call ahead because most will offer a discount if you say you’re traveling for the event. You can also view the map for each part on the official website, www.fhwa.dot.gov/byways/byways/2278
The 824 mile sale gives communities the opportunity to host festivals and other family events, and presents small shops a great way to get more business. Everyone, not just small businesses, can participate and showcase what makes them unique in the old pike towns. Past sales have drawn thousands of people to the area, creating a great way for local residents to make extra money.
For more information, contact coordinators Donna Tauber at 765-987-7565 or Kim Couch at 765-969-7593. Happy treasure hunting!