There will be miles of bargains, literally, when the 7-Mile Yard Sale’s fall edition opens at 7 a.m. Saturday along Miller Bridge Road in Icard.
Stretching from Burger King at Exit 116 off Interstate 40 to N.C. 18, and extending onto many side roads, the 7-Mile Yard Sale features homeowners’ yard, porch and garage sales, fundraising activities, food and the thrill of the hunt for clothes, games, tools, books, music, kitchen ware, antiques and unrecognized treasures.
The sales go on until 2 p.m.
“We’d love to see everybody there,” said Linda Shook of 3846 Pine Knoll Drive, who promoted the first 7-Mile Yard Sale and remains its unofficial organizer.
She gets help from Becky McNeely, “who joined in to spread the word,” said Shook, who added, “She puts up some good signs ahead of time.”
Shook said she got the idea from her daughter who saw the famous 400-Mile Yard Sale that stretches along U.S. 68 in Kentucky.
“She told me about it and I thought, ‘Hey, why can’t we do a 7-mile yard sale?’” Shook said.
She started seeding the idea seven or eight years ago.
“A lot of people I go to church with live on that road and put it in the bulletin,” she said. “I got on the radio — the trading post and swap shop shows — and went to a couple little stores and put up fliers. And word of mouth spread it.”
The idea took root and grew. The 7-Mile Yard Sale now is a semi-annual event held in the spring and fall.
“People look forward to it,” Shook said. “They start asking us about it come March, and again in September, because we have so many people participate.”
Shook describes the household goods in the sale as “new, used and abused.”
There is no registration fee and only one rule: people must put up their own sign.
Because the event attracts such large crowds, it’s also attracted other activities.
“Shoupes Grove Road Baptist Church always has a sale plus hamburgers and hotdogs,” Shook said. “About midway through there is a guy who makes BBQ. Brenda Turner sponsors a gospel singing every year in Lincolnton and she will be selling stuff at Mount Hickory Methodist Church to raise money to pay for that concert. There’s homemade beef jerky about a half mile from Burger King on the right. And lot of people will set up at East (Burke) Middle School.”
Shook herself has a house at 4008 Miller Bridge Road that is almost filled with her 30-year collection of items.
“People just find such a variety of things,” she said. “I tell them to wear comfortable shoes and bring lots of money and bring lots of change.”