The U.S. 25 Yard Sale brings visitors to Berea, it helps citizens make a little extra money by selling their unused items, and it even helps keep unwanted belongings out of the local landfill, according to event organizer Randy Coffey. The sale will begin officially at 7 a.m. on Thursday, June 3, and run through Friday and Saturday, June 5, until 5 p.m.
“It’s all about having fun and making a little money,” said Coffey, who has been organizing the yard sale for the last 10 years. The sale now includes 14 cities in the Commonwealth, stretching some 200 miles from Corbin to Florence, making it among the 10 longest events of its kind in the U.S.
The U.S. 25 Yard Sale was initially stalled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, a two-day sale was staged in October of last year. With 2021, the event comes back stronger than ever, with this weekend’s event, followed up by the Booneway Yard Sale coming October 1-2.
While the yard sale has turned out to be a good way for citizens to recycle unused items from their closets and garages, Coffey said the event has also succeeded in alerting people to what is available in Berea, getting them off the interstate to explore. As a result, some people keep coming back, whether it is to get married, or to start a new business or buy property. “It’s a win-win-win,” Coffey said. “The people in town and their stuff is what brings other people to the city, and a lot of people here in Berea make a lot of money off of things they don’t need. Sometimes that’s stuff that would have gone into the landfill.”
Coffey describes his journey to launch the yard sale a great experience, noting that what has grown into a major annual event started with just two cell phones and two Facebook pages. Since then, some of the biggest beneficiaries have been local youth sports teams, booster organizations and church groups, who take advantage of the foot traffic to raise funds.
For individuals and groups thinking of participating in the Thursday thru Saturday event, Coffey offers a few tips. Be sure you have the permission of property owners before you set up your stand, comply with local laws, get your stuff ready and tag it, be mindful of the wind, because it can wreak more havoc on a sales area than rain, and follow recommended COVID-19 safety rules.
Noting the event’s tendency to bring folks to town, Berea Mayor Bruce Fraley urged citizens to participate. “I would encourage groups and organizations to get permission from property owners along U.S. 25 to have a yard sale event as a fundraiser or just for citizens who want to get rid of their treasures and pass those on to someone who’s willing to pay for them,” Fraley said during Tuesday’s city council meeting. “This event does bring people to town, and I would ask all of you to communicate and remind people to give themselves a little bit of extra time Thursday, Friday and Saturday because traffic will be up in Berea with the yard sale.”
Whether buying or selling, citizens can consult the U.S. 25 Yard Sale page on Facebook or US25Yardsale.com, or call (859) 779-3005 for further information