By Amy Kent Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald
---- — FULTON, Ill. — The ninth annual multi-state “buy-way” sales event is happening this weekend in Fulton and there are plenty of opportunities for people to scratch that yard sale itch.
“We have 69 registered sales and had (around) 10 come in after the deadline but the map was already at the printer so we had to deny them,” Fulton Chamber of Commerce Director Heather Bennett said.
The Lincoln Buy-Way sales event began in Ohio and quickly grew recognition in Ohio’s neighboring states. Now, it stretches hundred of miles along Lincoln Highway across five Midwestern states — Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana, Illinois and Iowa.
Although the buy-way event features those five states, not all cities and communities participate in hosting city-wide sales.
Fulton originally organized their own yard sale weekend through the Wan Tan Ye club, but after they disbanded, the Chamber of Commerce decided to change the weekend to coincide with the “Buy-Way” sales.
“The Wa Tan Ye club organized community wide sales many years ago but it was the Chamber’s idea to change the weekend to get involved with the buy-way,” Bennett said.
Fulton is one of the few communities in western Illinois that organizes their own portion of the event, and many yard sale enthusists travel to take part in it.
“I get a lot of calls from people in the Quad Cities, Sterling and Rock Falls because they don’t have anything like this and they look forward to it every year,” Bennett said. “The majority of people who shop at the sales are not Fulton residents.”
Those Fulton residents typically take part in the event by hosting their own yard sales, offering different items each year to keep it interesting.
“Some people I’ve noticed will get creative on ways to make money. Some will sell bottled water and small snacks throughout the day,” Bennett said. “It must be pretty prosperous for them because a lot of the same people continue to have sales.”
Guests at the sales will find a variety of items and will be able to easily navigate the streets of Fulton thanks to a detailed map of the yard sales and the items available.
The 69 registered sales will begin around 8 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and typically end around 2 p.m. Other sales that are not registered will also take place for the two days, and guests can wander the streets of Fulton to find what they’re searching for.
“It’s a pretty cool event if you’re into garage sales,” Bennett said. “And it’s a good opportunity for people in Fulton to make some decent money.”