Buyers fill local hotel rooms; sellers ready for what may be the biggest crawl yet
By Katie Demeria
NEW MARKET -- Those involved with the Route 11 Yard Crawl are reporting that this year, the 10th anniversary, could mark the largest event ever.
Sellers started organizing their stands as early as Thursday, anticipating the crowds that traditionally line Old Valley Pike. Many reported already seeing a higher volume than usual Friday, but were also anxious about the possible rain on Saturday.
Several area hotels are already seeing customers fill their rooms, as well. The Valley View Motel in Strasburg had no vacancies Friday, according to owner Rodney Sibert.
Candace Jenkins, front office manager of the Quality Inn in New Market, said she has seen the event grow over the past few years.
"I've been here for six years, and this is the biggest crowd I've seen so far," Jenkns said. "We've actually got people from Florida coming up here for the yard crawl."
Most visitors come in Friday, Jenkins said, then they will get up early Saturday morning and head toward Route 11.
The Hampton Inn and Suites in Woodstock has experienced similar volume, according to front desk attendant Tiffani Atkins.
Atkins said the hotel only had 18 rooms available Friday night.
"This is our busy season to begin with, but every year on the yard crawl weekend we have a lot of people making reservations, and then a lot of people who just walk in in the evening because they have nowhere else to go," Atkins said.
"On yard crawl weekend, if we're not sold out, then we're very close," she added.
The hotel works with others in its direct vicinity, touching base in the morning, afternoon, and evenings, to find out where they can direct customers once they hit capacity, according to Atkins.
The area in front of the Shenandoah Valley Flea Market in New Market was already filled with vendors Friday afternoon, many of whom had set up in the morning.
Terry and Chris Richards of New Market have been participating in the event over the past four years.
"It's been busy," Chris Richards said Friday. "Almost like a normal Saturday. We've done well today."
Down the aisle from the Richards, Linda and David Fisher had set up their stand, displaying a variety of jewelry and other items, including cast iron cookware and dolls.
This is the second year they have participated, according to Linda Fisher. They live in Nelson County.
"It's really great to be here," she said. "We enjoy it. It's fun."
Most excited about the jewelry she has on display, Linda Fisher said her prices range from $1 to $25, and includes both silver sterling pieces and costume jewelry.
Peachy Shifflett and Ann Arentrout had set up a tent near the Fishers, as well, and were selling a variety of tins and containers they had collected. From the Elkton area, this is their first year at the yard crawl.
While they had items for sale as low as $1, Arentrout said she already sold a tin worth $150 earlier on Friday.
"We've collected pretty much all our lives," Arentrout said. "We wanted to come because we've heard nice things about it."
Contact staff writer Katie Demeria at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or email@example.com