From quilts to collectibles, cast iron skillets to crockery, there was a little something for everyone for sale at the annual Take a Break From the Interstate three-day road market on U.S. 21.
The event was created four years ago by Sparta businessman Don Miles. In addition to offering travelers through the area a unique shopping experience, the market is also meant to foster a sense of community for area residents, Miles said. The market also helps boost the local economy as travelers shopping along the route may also stay in area hotels and purchase food and gas along the route.
Prior to the construction of interstates like I-77, U.S. 21 was the main thoroughfare for travelers from the Great Lakes region to Florida and was known as the Lakes to Florida Highway. Yard sales at private homes as well as booths from area businesses and antique dealers could be found at the 100-mile market from Wytheville, Virginia, to Harmony, North Carolina.
“I just enjoy it, I really do,” said Don Watson, who had a booth set up in Elkin. He has a booth inside the antique store on Bridge Street as well.
Watson said he likes any and all antiques, but he particularly has an eye for anything he’s never seen before.
Watson had a number of out-of-the-ordinary items such as carved masks and several airplanes made from cans. Watson said his friend who passed away several years ago was responsible for making the unusual can creations. Watson said in addition to being fun to look at, they were also useful in keeping barn swallows from roosting in unwanted places.
At his booth, he also had several walkmans and recorders from a not-too-long-ago decade. He said several young girls seemed fascinated by the non-digital music playing devices and so he just gave one to them.
Farther north along the road market route, two local Girl Scouts, Grace Harrison and Raven Poindexter, had their own booth selling books to benefit their Silver Award project.
“We are going to use the money from the books to buy walking sticks and binoculars and different things people can use on the trail to check out at the library,” said Harrison.
“It’s been really fun working on it and we’re doing really good here. I’m looking forward to seeing what people think that they’ll be able to check out something other than books at the library,” Poindexter added.
Harrison and Poindexter have been active in Girl Scouts for eight years and six years, respectively, as part of Troop 02603. The two plan to continue raising funds for the project with a booth at the Yadkin Valley Pumpkin Festival in Elkin later this fall.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter and Instagram @RippleReporterK.