(Post updated after the jump, 10PM Wednesday night! Get those shopping shoes on!)
Update 2: Wow, Midwest Living is heading to the sales in Van Wert, Ohio to photograph for a 2013 feature about the Highway Buy-Way! 9:32PM Thursday, August 9
If you, like me, are a fan of vintage goodies, getting a great deal on something, or simply the plain old thrill of the hunt, I ought to give you a heads-up—this weekend is the annual Lincoln Highway Buy-Way Yard Sale (August 9-11). Though the Buy-Way is biggest here in Ohio, you’ll find sales along the Lincoln Highway (often also known as Route 30 in the east) in West Virginia, Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana, too!
We’ve hit the Buy-Way a few times; our best score was likely at one yard sale late on the final day, when I found a box of vintage sewing patterns from the 1940s-1960s, a box of vintage McCall’s crafting and needlework magazines, and a darling vintage hat. Of course, some of the greatest finds are the things we left behind, as you can see by that photo of me taken a couple of years ago—honestly, I rather wish we’d bought those crazy owl lamps for the guestroom! (Our poor guests, right? So I like a little kitsch!)
Despite its youth, the Buy-Way has gotten big, and I expect it will only become bigger in the coming years. Many towns not only offer yard sales galore, but concerts, festivals, classic car shows, and even fun things for the kiddies to do. I’ve also seen churches and schools holding bake sales or helping shoppers cool off by selling lemonade—there really is something for everyone, too, from vintage to crafts to home and garden tools to fantastic kitsch and collectibles.
Keep in mind, too, that most of the Lincoln Highway has been re-named US Route 30, though in most places you’ll find red, white, and blue Lincoln Highway signs along the road. It should be easy to follow along.
If you plan on going this weekend, just some advice—dress comfortably, as it tends to heat up during the day. Packing a small cooler with ice packs, drinks, and snacks can’t hurt either; there are plenty of great diners and restaurants along the Lincoln (the Broken Rocks Cafe in Wooster, Ohio, being one of my favourites—they do their best to help celiacs!), if you want to be at your bargain-hunting, awesome-finding best, you definitely want enough fuel for the day. Wear comfortable shoes, bring a hat with a brim, and don’t forget to pack your sunscreen, either—and of course, plenty of cash in small denominations, a big smile, and a healthy dose of charm. I’ve, ahhh, charmed my way into more than one great deal without ever having to lay it on thickly—if you’re good-natured, friendly, and kind, you’ll do quite well should you attempt bargaining. And you should bargain; that’s a big part of the fun!
Don’t forget your camera! From charming small towns to handsome farmhouses and barns, there’s so much beauty to see along the Lincoln Highway, you’ll want to document it—and there are definitely a few fun things to pose the kids in front of so you’ll have photos to embarrass them with when they’re teenagers.
Obviously, with the Highway Buy-Way coming up this weekend, all sorts of stories are popping up in the news. I think I’ll do my best to keep y’all posted about them for you. After the jump, I’ll link to the state Lincoln Highway Association sites I can find, but just to start you off, click here to take a look at a fabulous (brand-new!) interactive online map of the entire Lincoln Highway—from Times Square in New York to Lincoln Park in San Fran. The site of the Ohio Lincoln Highway Association has a list of places where you can grab maps of the Buy-Way for the Buckeye state (here in Ohio is where the Lincoln Highway Buy-Way began, and it still has more sales than any other state).
Be sure to click to see what I can find from the other states participating in the Highway Buy-Way. Oh, I can’t wait ’til this goes all the way across the Lincoln Highway, from sea to shining sea! I’ll update this post throughout the week as I discover new information, and should we find ourselves able to go do some hunting, I’ll be much better about posting my finds than I have been of late. If you’ve any Lincoln Highway Buy-Way news or information you’d like to share, do send it to me and I’ll do my best to post it!