Bargain hunters, vendors galore line Route 11 for the Yard Crawl

Pedestrians cross Rt. 11 near Fishers Hill Friday during the Rt. 11 Yard Crawl that started Friday. The event will be in full form today as yard sales will stretch from New Market to Stephens City for the annual event. Rich Cooley/Daily

Rain is probably going to fall on the Yard Crawl today.

National Weather Service meteorologist Jeremy Geiger said there is a 60 percent chance of showers, with thunderstorms possible, for the area. Rain will most likely occur between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., he added.

It will not keep Kimberly Pittman away.

Pittman, of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia,  has been coming to shop the Yard Crawl for five years, the last three years accompanied by her mother Leona Stotler.

They were out sharing time together on Friday, shopping vendors who had already set up.

“It is fun,” Pittman said. “I will be back tomorrow.”

The only time Stotler takes off work is one day for the Yard Crawl.

“I love yard sales,” Stotler said.

Stotler snagged an outdoor storage bench for $2.

She plans to set it outside in her yard by the door and store flower pots on it.

Pittman found a paisley print comforter in blue tones for $5. She also purchased a large beach cart for $5.

Mother and daughter found the bench on sale by the Kawatsky family who were set up on Route 11 in Strasburg in the space behind Kountry Korner and next to the McDonald’s.

“This is the second year we have been selling in the Yard-Crawl,” said Adrienne Kawatsky, of Strasburg.

They arrived on Friday to set up about 6 a.m.

“We are doing good,” Kawatsky said.

Sharon Baroncelli, Executive Director of the Shenandoah County Chamber of Commerce, said there were  about 950 vendors set up on the route as of Friday afternoon. This is the first year they have counted the number of vendors.

She said an average of 30,000 to 40,000 cars pass through the entire route of the crawl.

The Shenandoah County Chamber of Commerce, which organized  the event, was busy fielding a lot of calls in the days leading up to the event, including calls from Virginia Beach and North Carolina, from people driving into the area for the Yard Crawl.

“I am very happy. It’s exciting. We are hearing from people asking what can they do around the area, where can they eat and what can they see. Who does not want to see thousands of cars on Route 11?” Baroncelli said.

Vendors at the crawl offer a wide variety of items, including collectibles and furniture, she said.

It appears some vendors set up and people started shopping on Thursday, she said.

“Take your time; visit each town, see what we have to offer,” Baroncelli said.

The chamber for the first time organized some of the businesses along Route 11 to offer “Crawl Specials”, Baroncelli said.

Those businesses will have orange balloons on display, designating them as a participant, she said.

There are six businesses participating in New Market, seven in Woodstock, four in Mount Jackson, three in Edinburg and two in Strasburg.

Those businesses are listed on the Yard Crawl website at

Every year multiple agencies typically come together to help prepare for or help during the yard crawl, said Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Bo Hall.

The Virginia Department of Transportation sends workers to install signs, such as ‘Congestion Ahead’, Hall said.

The top of Fishers Hill, Edinburg – around the landfill – and the area Flea Market in New Market are some of the busier spots, he said.

Other busy areas include the Shenandoah Valley Flea Market and the Stephens City Commons Area, Baroncelli said.

The Shenandoah County Department of Fire and Rescue and the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s office, will have extra people on duty on Saturday during the event, he said.

“We always have extra patrol to help with traffic control and respond to fender benders,” Hall said.

Hall did not have statistics in front of him but said there are usually only a couple minor accidents, almost all between two cars that are parked and one moves slightly. Most people are aware and try to be careful, he said.

“We generally don’t have much problem with this event,” Hall said.