STRASBURG - Patti Romer and her daughter Kelsey, both of Front Royal, were looking at a small two-seat couch while on the hunt during the 15th annual Route 11 Yard Crawl in Frederick and Shenandoah counties on Friday.

Both mother and daughter were seriously considering purchasing it. Patti Romer was looking at it for her fireplace room while daughter Kelsey Romer was envisioning it in her new apartment.

“I have an entire apartment to furnish. It’s expensive,” Kelsey Romer said.

Kelsey Romer is looking for deals, and she found one when she purchased an ottoman for $8.

"It’s pretty cute,” she said.

The couch was part of a collection of antiques and pottery set up by Donna Huntsberger and her sister Debbie Ritenour.

Like most vendors, they opened at 6 a.m. Friday with Ritenour manning the booth and Huntsberger arriving about half an hour later.

They have been selling at the yard crawl for five years.

“They are already waiting and ready to buy,” Ritenour said. “We had people from Nashville, Tennessee, and New York.”

Those out-of-state visitors, she said, purchased some antique pottery.

This is the first year the Route 11 Yard Crawl was officially opened on Friday for a two-day event that continues today. For years, the crawl was only held on Saturday, though unofficially, some vendors set up on Friday. 

“Friday is the serious buyers. Saturday is the bargain shoppers,” Huntsberger said.

Another vendor who was set up and selling at 6 a.m. was Chris Rutherford, of Front Royal.

Rutherford makes his living as a gardener but began selling at various flea markets about five years ago to earn extra money. He has been participating in the yard crawl for the last three years, always setting up in the same prime area on Route 11 by Fishers Hill.

He said last year he made $1,200 in two days at the crawl.

Rutherford describes his stand as a hodgepodge of household items and knickknacks. He likes to sell items for $1 or $2 so that more people can afford to buy them.

Looking over his wares were lifelong friends Lisa Pangle, of Strasburg, and Barbie Kibler, of Tom’s Brook.

Both wore T-shirts that had "Yard Crawl Checklist" printed on the back. Below that was a checklist reading "Best Friend, Gas, Cash, Pecan Twirls, Coffee" with everything checked off.

The two friends have gone shopping on the crawl every year since it started and always do wonderfully, they said. This year they are looking for clothes for Pangle’s new granddaughter, Grace, who is 9 weeks old.

Sharon Baroncelli, executive director of the Shenandoah County Chamber of Commerce, said Friday was busy with lots of people out.

The chamber has been receiving many calls from people asking where the route is, where are the best areas to stop and where to eat, she said.

“This is a very active day, based on today we could have a busy weekend,” Baroncelli said.

She stressed for drivers to be aware, drive careful and not to park on Route 11 but to pull off the road.

Lt. Bo Hall, of the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office, said that for the most part people are obeying the rules of the road. He was not aware of any citations or if the department had received any complaints. There were no crashes that he was aware of that were related to the yard crawl. There was a crash on Route 11 but that occurred in an area where no one was set up.

The Sheriff's Office will have a few extra deputies working this weekend, he said.

Contact Melissa Topey at mtopey@nvdaily.com