Online Staff Report
The annual cavalcade of commerce along U. S. Highway 34 through northern Illinois is set for Friday-Saturday, June 14-15. It’s time for “More on 34.” You never know what you will find along the way; yard sales, antique shows, craft shows, flea markets, and farmers’ markets in communities from Galesburg to Aurora.
In its eighth year, More on 34 has grown in popularity. Bargain hunters, antique buyers and collectors from across the United States turn the weekend event into a 140-mile treasure hunt through the heart of Illinois in search of rare finds and unique gifts. Local church groups stage fund-raisers in their parking lots. Independent dealers set up roadside shops.
“This is such a great event, a good way to find bargains, meet new people, and experience the Illinois countryside,” said Cathy Foes, director of the Henry County Tourism Bureau in Kewanee, Ill.
Participating communities along the way are Galesburg, Wataga, Oneida, Altona, Galva, Kewanee, Neponset, Sheffield, Wyanet, Princeton, Dover, LaMoille, Mendota, Earlville, Leland, Somonauk, Sandwich, Plano, Yorkville and Aurora.
Sales can be found in parking lots, in city parks and in many yards all along Route 34. Sales typically run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., but some open earlier or stay open later. A few sellers even begin their sales on Thursday and continue through Sunday. Everything can be found along the route, from antiques to garden produce and plants to unique “junque.”
Make a stop in Earlville at the Methodist Church fund-raiser; their specialty is home-baked pie. Bureau County Fairgrounds in Princeton will have a two-day sale Friday and Saturday with doors opening at 7 a.m. Stop there early for great deals on new and used items, antiques and collectibles. Admission is free. Saturday, Wiley Park in Galva will feature vendors offering an array of treasures and food, too. Load up the trunk of your car and set up along the route.
One thing you can collect for free during More on 34 are great stories from interesting people. The CVBs and communities that plan the event each year have collected stories throughout the eight-year event. Several years ago, More on 34 founder Glenn Schwarm met two women who had rented a truck and set out to furnish an entire household. By Saturday morning when he met them in Wyanet, the women had already bought a dining room set and living room furniture. They were on their way to Galesburg to discover and buy more finds!
More on 34 organizers in Oneida said they have rented space the last several years to a dozen out-of-state vendors, some from as far away as Florida. A Kewanee antique dealer made a handsome profit by buying etchings for $100 and reselling them for $800.
More on 34 is a chance for visitors to meet local residents, travel a slower pace, and find rare treasures. Diane Bruening, an organizing founder, tells about her favorite More on 34 find was a painting with special family significance. Several years ago, her son and daughter-in-law were married in an old antebellum-style mansion outside Galesburg. Later, while browsing one of the More on 34 sales in an old feed store in Cameron, Diane came across a painting of the same mansion, created more than five decades ago by a resident of the house. The price: 25 cents. “I had it framed and gave it to them as a gift,” she said.
Posted June 12, 2013