Community-wide yard sale attracts bargain hunters

Allyson Putman
Contributing writer

John Foust from Paris, Tenn., stands at his booth at Saturday’s yard sale. Foust said he has been participating in yard sales since he retired from the U.S. Postal Service in 1998. Foust’s booth included shark teeth and geode rocks.

Photos by Nate Brelsford/The News

Bargain hunters filled the streets of Murray in search of deals and steals at the fall citywide yard sale last Saturday.

The event has been a Murray tradition for as long as many people can remember, making several opportunities available for “yard salers” to bargain and sell their items for profit. The Murray Convention and Visitors Bureau hosts the event twice a year to help fund the Freedom Fest held every July 4th weekend.

Erin Carrico, executive director at the Murray Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the yard sale was made up of 50 residential homes throughout Murray and 30 booths at Central Park. This is the largest citywide yard sale in Western Kentucky, she said.

The way the event was located in one set location at Central Park as well as residential homes allowed patrons to visit several different stands without having to travel a far distance.

First-year participants Vickie Prescott and daughter Robin Gibson said they enjoyed their experience at the citywide yard sale at Central Park.

“It’s so neat that it’s all in one spot, and you don’t have to travel from spot to spot,” Prescott said.

She said she celebrated her birthday by browsing the booths with her daughter.

Having the event take place in Central Park also allowed non-Murray residents the chance to partake in the yard sale.

John Foust from Paris, Tenn., said he has been participating in yard sales and flea markets since he retired from the U.S. Postal Service in 1998.

While his booth had the staple yard sale items – old CDs, movies and books – it also had some rather unorthodox items such as shark teeth and geode rocks.

Foust said he loves the way participating in the citywide yard sale and similar events gives him the chance to meet new people.

“I’m a people person,” he said. “I wanted to be a mailman and was for 32 years. Now I’m retired and still meet lots of people. I’m blessed in life.”

Like several other citywide yard sale participants, Foust has a booth at the flea markets in Mayfield, Ky., and Huntingdon, Tenn., as well as the Merchants Mall in McKenzie, Tenn.

Many people regard the things sold in yard sales as solely unwanted items from a person’s home, but in reality, there are many ways the vendors come across their merchandise.

Mark Ruccio from Murray, is an annual participant in the citywide yard sale who both sets up booths and attends yard sales regularly – a hobby that led to his “trash to treasure” encounter.

“Last year a lady had a lot of glass fishing balls from where she used to live on the West Coast,” he said. “Nobody knew what they were, so I bought them and sold them on eBay for a large profit.”

Ruccio is not alone, as many of the vendors said they attained their merchandise from other yard sales.

Aside from selling “diamonds in the rough,” many booths were selling homemade goods.

LeAnn Ferguson set up a booth to raise money to attend her child’s 5th grade class trip to Washington, D.C. Ferguson sold homemade crocheted items, including fingerless gloves, apple cozies, zombie sock monkeys and soap on a rope.

“During the ice storm that came through, I taught myself to crochet because I was stuck at home,” she said. “I’ve been making them ever since.”

The next citywide yard sale is set for the spring of 2012. For more information, contact the Murray Convention and Visitors Bureau at (270) 759-2199 or at tourmurray.com.

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