By Sally Voth -- firstname.lastname@example.org
The yard crawl is back.
The eighth annual Shenandoah County Yard Crawl along U.S. 11 returns next weekend.
And, while the Yard Crawl's official date is Aug. 11, if past years are anything to go by, many buyers and sellers will be on the county thoroughfare on the preceding and succeeding days.
"It's a partnership between Shenandoah County and the towns of Middletown and Stephens City [in Frederick County] that work together as a group to make it happen," Shenandoah County Tourism and Marketing Director Natalie Wills said.
There will be about 45 miles of yard sales and business sales, according to a release from the county's tourism office.
"It does generate a tremendous amount of calls," Wills said in a Friday afternoon phone interview. "We've had about 3,000 visitors to that section of our website since Feb. 1. We have calls from as far away as New York City, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio. Every year that it happens, it just grows, mostly word-of-mouth."
An article about the Yard Crawl that appeared in a North Carolina publication has led to some calls to the county, she said.
"I really think that shows like American Pickers and Pawn Stars and [those] types of shows are generating an interest in treasure hunting," Wills said. "It's fun shopping. The economy's still not real great. People either sell things to pay their bills, to make some extra cash, or, you find people who go and find things that they need at a reasonable price."
Last year, a woman bought a pair of lamps at the Yard Crawl, and when she took them back to Richmond to get rewired, she was offered $1,000 for them, Wills said.
Wills said organizers work with public safety officials and the Virginia Department of Transportation to try to keep everyone safe.
Shenandoah County Sheriff's Maj. Scott Proctor said extra deputies will be on hand starting Friday afternoon. Especially congested areas include Fishers Hill, New Market and the county landfill, he said.
"There's a lot of people moving across the road, driving slowly, looking for a place to park, trying to get off the road, trying to pull out on the road," Proctor said.
He asked that drivers be observant and cautious and to expect delays, and that they pull off the road completely when parking.