As Executive Director of the Shenandoah County Chamber of Commerce, Woodstock local Jenna French has been involved in organizing the Route 11 Yard Crawl for several years.
Her husband, however, wasn’t always as big of a fan. According to French, he failed to understand why others were excited about looking through “used stuff.”
On his way to meet up with his wife at last year’s event, however, he passed by tables that caught his eye.
By the time French spotted him, she says his hands were full of various tools, including a ladder.
“He was like ‘Look what I got!’ ” she recalled, laughing.
Her story illustrates her main point: With more than 40 miles of yard and business sales, the Yard Crawl really has “something for everyone.”
Planned and organized by the SCCC, the annual event runs along U.S. 11 from New Market to Stephens City.
Responding to questions regarding why the crawl is spread through the county — as opposed to being concentrated in a single town — French says, “We want people to see each of the towns in Shenandoah County; this is a great way to show them off.”
“People [at past crawls] have told me they passed by Woodstock everyday on I-81, but never knew what our historic downtown was like,” she added.
French hopes shoppers hunting for the perfect find will notice something special about each town that encourages them to return.
“We have a lot of history here … lots of road markers commemorating historical events,” she said.
Each Year Better Than The Last
While event basics stay the same, French says the planning committee works to make improvements each year.
This year, due to the crawl’s growing popularity, the committee worked “very closely” with public safety officials to ensure they have the proper procedures in place in case of an emergency.
“We also started an emergency phone tree this year,” remarked French. “Anyone can sign up for it, and then be notified if there’s an area they need to avoid.”
While the crawl is technically a one day event, French says venders frequently set up shop early.
“Many booths are set up on Thursday, and most are set up by Friday,” she advises.
“A good strategy we recommend [for shoppers] is starting on one end, spending the night and then continuing on.”
Contact Katie King at (540) 574-6271 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Route 11 Yard Crawl ...
Will start at 7 a.m. Aug. 10, rain or shine.
Organizers advise that participants pull completely off U.S. 11 when parking, avoid double parking and stay alert for pedestrians.
To be added to the emergency phone tree, email your name and telephone number to email@example.com.
Booths are still available.
For more information, visit route11yardcrawl.com.