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June 2012
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Trash becomes treasure at 400 Mile Yard Sale

BY LAUREN P. DUNCAN lduncan@paducahsun.com

SHARPE - U.S. 68 has become a thrifty shopper's paradise for the weekend.

The annual 400 Mile Yard Sale from Maysville in northern Kentucky to Sharpe in Marshall County officially started Thursday and continues through Sunday. While the rest of the weekend's sales may depend on which vendors stick around through forecasted showers, resale enthusiasts Friday filled highway residents' yards and vehicles lined the highway.

Sharpe resident Ann Lovelace sat on the front porch of her home as she observed visiting vendors bartering with guests in her front lawn. The Lovelace home has become a Sharpe area 400 Mile Yard Sale hub over the past four or five years as Lovelace rents her yard space to vendors. They've marked off-street parking and supply a portable bathroom for the weekend crowds.

"I guess, more or less, we do it for the people," she said.

Lovelace said some years she's had vendors come from as far as Florida to set up shop in her front yard. She's met shoppers from as far north as Wisconsin.

Another attraction to the Lovelace yard is the barbecue. Hungry U.S. 68 travelers can find fixings by Tony and Suzy Denson of Reidland and Tony Denson Jr. They made their first barbecue sale at 8 a.m. Friday.

"It's the best barbecue we've had in a long time," said shopper Kay Fields of Kevil. "We will be back."

Like the Lovelace setup, a few friends can be found sharing a yard farther west in Sharpe at the home of Linda Culp, where Homer and Kay Fletcher were selling antiques and collectibles, and Anita Branon had items for sale ranging from clothing to kittens.

Sellers said a lot of visitors browse, but occasionally they'll meet people on a hunt. Branon said she once had a man who asked her for fountain pens, and once a bus traveling from Iowa to Bowling Green stopped for a passenger in search of buttons.

The strangest thing she's ever sold, Branon said, was a potbelly pig.

One of her favorite parts of the weekend? Bartering.

"That's part of the fun, as long as they're not insulting," she said.

Kenton and Jennifer Smith of Tiline were out looking for nothing in particular Friday, but ended up leaving Vera Wilson's sale with a hay feeder.

Wilson came to Sharpe with a truckload of items including costume jewelry, alligator handbags and decor including a '60s swag lamp. She said setting up shop at her friend's Golden Acres Loop yard has prevented her from spending the whole day stopping at every other sale and taking home new things.

"My husband calls it junk," she said. "I call it treasure."

Contact Lauren Duncan, Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8692 or follow @laurenpduncan on Twitter.

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