“More on 34” is the “grandaddy” of all linear yard sales
Online Staff Report
The 20-city, 100-mile yard sale, “More on 34,” will take place Father’s Day weekend, June 13-14, between Aurora and Galesburg, Ill.
It’s a weekend of treasure hunting in the Illinois countryside along U.S. Highway 34. According to organizers, the annual cavalcade of commerce through northern Illinois is the granddaddy of all linear yard sales that plays host to bargain hunters, antique buyers, and collectors from across the United States for treasure hunting over 100 miles across five counties.
The two-day event features yard sales, antique shows, craft shows, flea markets, and farmers markets.
In its ninth year, More on 34 has grown in popularity. The sale was featured as the No. 5 reader favorite for yard sales in the April 2013 edition of Flea Market Style magazine. Cathy Foes, Henry County Tourism Bureau director, received a call in March from a Massachusetts antique and yard sale enthusiast who plans to travel the miles and miles of sales with her daughter.
The woman said: “It’s a way to spend time with my daughter doing something we both love.” Foes responded, “Most of the sales are held on U.S. Highway 34, but don’t be afraid to venture off the route when you see one of the many signs that says barn sale this way. It’s a great way to experience the Illinois countryside, to meet the locals, and to find a treasure.”
Participating communities 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, 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 remain open later. A few sellers even begin their sales on Thursday and continue through Sunday. E
verything can be found along the route, from antiques or garden produce and plants to unique “junque.” Anyone can load up the trunk of their car with their own items and set up a booth along the route.
Sandwich is a town already known for antique items with over twenty shops downtown, but Timbercreek Inn and Suites will have vendors available outside selling their wares. Make a stop in Earlville at the Methodist Church fundraiser; all sales are free-will donations and, while there, have a slice of home-baked pie. They sell out every year.
Bureau County Fairgrounds in Princeton will have a two-day sale on Friday and Saturday beginning at 7 a.m. Th sale will include use items, antiques, and collectibles. Admission is free.
On the southern part of the route toward Galesburg, stop in and celebrate Altona’s Zip Code Day: 61414. Sales are at the United Methodist Church and they also offer a lunch and bake sale. From 3-7 p.m., Altona will host historic home presentations, an ice cream social, and fireworks at dusk. In Wataga, the park plays host to more than 40 vendors. Hawthorne Craft and Antique Mall in Galesburg will be brimming with antiques, foods, and crafts both inside and out.
Several years ago, More on 34 founder, Glenn Schwarm, met two women who 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 and were on their way to Galesburg for more shopping.
More on 34 organizers in Oneida said they have rented space for 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.