U.S. 21 was in a hubbub of activity this weekend thanks to this year’s three-day road market. Plenty of people from Surry County and elsewhere cruised along the road exploring the market stands that dotted the strip to take a look at the antiques and nick-knacks for sale.
While Friday was a little bit slow kicking off the market, people were still finishing up their week’s work. On Saturday, the road was filled with cars cruising down the street from Virginia to the northern part of North Carolina.
“We’ve been doing the market two days now this weekend and we just love the deals. You get to find more in one day than if you were to go a local store,” said Bobbie and Nicole Thibault. “We just started today because we had to work half of Friday. Today’s a lot busier. Plenty of people have been set-up.”
“We did the road market last year Friday, Saturday, and Sunday,” said vendor Steve Morales. “It was profitable. I think it’s busier this year. We’ve always dabbled in the antiques ourselves with stuff in the house. Once a year we get rid of it whether it be through yard sells or participating in the road market.”
For some people the market provided an opportunity to get rid of a lot of their old belongings.
“I just had stuff I needed to get rid of, a lot of clothes and household goods,” said Alyssa Royall. “Had a lot of people looking today. I love just seeing what everybody has.”
“I think it not only gets a lot of like-minded people out searching for the bargains but you can find just about anything you want and it gets you out there to see stuff that you might not want to,” said Morales. “Everything you see could be a quality piece, stuff that people will enjoy having in the house and you wouldn’t find them anywhere else.”
Route 21 runs from the tip of Florida to the Great Lakes. While many people at the market were from the general area, many vendors found themselves talking to people from all over the state and from around the nation.
“We’ve enjoyed it,” said Branson and Jackie Smith. “Just heard about it this year and decided to give it a try. It brings a lot of awareness to the area because I’ve never been through Elkin before. We’re from the southern end of Davidson County and we have a little vacation place up in Boone on our way up there so we thought we’d just cut across. We’ve found a few knick-knacks. We’re already talking about doing it again next year.”
“I’ve talked to people who’ve come from below Charlotte and another man was from Rockingham County about three hours away,” said Gaye Rogers.
“I love talking to people in general from California to Florida to Texas to just all over,” said Carl Fleming. “I had a nice conversation with a guy from Texas who just moved here recently.”
The variety of items sold along the route is never-ending. People could find cookie jars and knives, cast-iron pans and weed eaters, china dolls and pillows, tables and wardrobes, and even a few unique items such as an antique motor vehicle.
“I’ve shopped here but I’ve never set up. When I came last year I was impressed,” said Rogers. “You just got so many different vendors and items to choose from with so many unique things you don’t normally see. I’ve sold a lot of stuff and I plan on bringing more tomorrow. One of the most unique things I sold was an old fish basket that hooks on your belt. There are just so many eye catchers and there are people from other parts who come off the interstate seeing things they wouldn’t have seen back at home. Next year I’ll know more of what to bring.”
Some vendors really specialized in their items such as Carl Cleming, who sold refurbished fishing reels.
“I needed to get rid of a few fishing reels that I had,” said Fleming. “I just enjoy working on fishing reels. I refurbished everything that you see out here. I take them, clean them, fix them, and sell them. I decided this year to jump out here.”
For some people the festival offered a great excuse to get out and meet people while enjoying the summer whether and exploring the market.
Troy Brooks may be reached at 336-258-4058.