By LYDIA BERGLAR
Another Antique Alley has come and gone, with people all across Dade County and the southeast buying, selling, and socializing. According to www.us11antiquealley.com, over 30,000 visitors shop along the 502-mile route each year.
For anyone new to the area, Antique Alley is an annual yard sale extravaganza across Highway 11. The event stretches from Meridian, Miss. to Bristol, Va., with Dade County sitting squarely in the middle. It is always held the weekend after Mother’s Day.
One local, Tuck Knight, has enjoyed perusing the sale since Antique Alley’s inception in 1997. Knight said, “I’m not a vendor; I’m a looker. I’ve bought a lot of stuff over the years. Sometimes I just throw it back, but sometimes I use it.”
Knight wasn’t looking for anything in particular this year, and as of noon on Thursday, May 18, he had yet to make any purchases. “Most times, the prices are good, but some of these people want double what it’s worth,” he said. “If it’s something I want and I think the price is too high, I’ll haggle a bit.”
Sellers who don’t live along Highway 11 rented spots at the Dade County Sports Complex, joined friends who have property along the route, or set up in front of businesses who allowed folks to use their lots.
Connie Hambly was one vendor who set up at the sports complex. She said, “This is my third year in the sale. Last year, I made about $300 or $400. We love Antique Alley, but it’s time to move things out. I keep saying to myself, ‘You don’t need to buy that because you’re trying to move stuff out, not in!’”
Larry York, who owned Larry’s Restaurant for 42 years, set up at his home just off Highway 11 on Cedar Lane. He was selling his wife’s sewing supplies and other household items after she died in September 2022. “I don’t sew,” he laughed. “We’ve probably got about 300 cookbooks in the house.” Larry and Janet were married for 47 years before Janet died of brain cancer.
Linda York, Marilyn Wallin, and Tabatha Ryan set up in a home owned by the Ryan family, with more friends planning to join throughout the weekend. York explained, “A couple of years ago, we sold at the house across from the Four Fields. We had the best traffic. We started setting up on Wednesday, and we couldn’t get our stuff out because of people stopping by.”
The three women had a large collection of glassware and unique furniture. York said, “There were several glass companies that make really unique pieces, and I’ve always been attracted to colored glass. Some of it’s real hard to find, and some of it’s a dime a dozen.”
For their first year selling at Antique Alley, Daniel and Bobbie Camp set up in front of Small Town Nutrition, just off the town square. For Coreen Otto, however, she hopes that this was her last Antique Alley. The yard sale veteran said, “I help support an orphanage in Mexico. A lot of what we make here goes to the orphanage.” Otto sells handmade items to help support the orphanage, and this year, she was selling a quilt put together by her and her daughter-in-law.