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July 26, 2010

 

Bargains abound on Route 90

24th annual garage sale event extends from Homer to Montezuma

BargainsJoe McIntyre/staff photographer
Jessica Pitcher of Watertown tries out a high chair for her 1-year-old daughter Mackenzie on Saturday at the Route 90 50-mile yard sale in Summer Hill.

By ANTHONY BORRELLI
Staff Reporter
aborrelli@cortlandstandard.net

HOMER — Fifty miles worth of shopping and two days to do it in.
Throngs of bargain hunters turned out over the weekend, touring spots along a 50-mile stretch of Route 90 for the 24th annual yard sales staged by residents along the highway.
The Route 90 sales stretch from Homer to Montezuma in Cayuga County.
Taking a break in their car Saturday afternoon from a couple of hours of browsing, Homer residents Lorraine and Dave Howe said they found some of the knickknacks they were looking for, including a dish set for a friend.
The couple always makes sure to get out for the event, which is traditionally scheduled for the last full weekend in July. They were looking this year for various things to use at home.
“We’re just going from place to place,” Lorraine Howe said. “We try to get out to them, we enjoy them.”
“I guess I haven’t got really far — it’s crazy,” Watertown resident Jessica Pitcher said amid crowds of fellow shoppers in Summerhill.
Pitcher and her 1-year-old daughter Mackenzie were shopping with friends and fellow family members.
Some Route 90 residents placed their merchandise, such as antiques, books, and furniture, on their front lawns to be seen by an almost constant flow of buyers and browsers who drove up in their cars.
Other shopping spots sported large clusters of sellers renting their space from various participating property owners, all with the goal of making a good sale and enjoying the experience.
“This is the greatest free show on earth,” Summerhill resident Floyd Kyes said as customers perused his merchandise. “It’s a large gathering and you never know what you’re going to find.”
Kyes, who has been a seller at the Route 90 sales for at least 10 years, was displaying movies and other keepsakes that had been kept in his home over the years. Also for sale was a 1939 Plymouth priced at $6,500 that he bought in Boston.
Kyes said the Route 90 sales are a community milestone of sorts.
“I’ve talked to people who have come as far away as Mississippi or Alabama,” he said. “In the garage sale community, this is a real big thing.”
Kyes said he thinks part of the draw for this large-scale garage sale is that the merchandise is more personalized than what might be found at a typical flea market.
“There’s more control for the sellers … this is our stuff,” he said.
Ellen Wright was selling items outside her Homer home for the fifth year in a row, as part of an effort by the American Association of University Women to help raise money for funding children’s community activities.
Wright said books are among the most popular items she sells people and tried to have more of them this year. She also had various housewares, Christmas decorations, dolls and a used leather sofa.
Selling at the Route 90 sales is always a fun experience for Wright, especially being among so many other people over a long distance.
“I like knowing that we’re part of something bigger — the community,” Wright said.

 

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