The Historic National Road, also known as U.S. Route 40, runs from Missouri to Maryland as the “Main Street of America.” The route is also home to a nearly 20-year yard sale festival tradition. This year, the event has been rescheduled for Aug. 19-23 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the sale may look a bit different for 2020, you can still expect to find many treasures along the route. 

What is the history of National Road? 

Historic National Road was the country’s first federally funded interstate highway, and was built between 1811 and 1837. One end begins in St. Louis, MO and the route continues east for 824 miles to the other end in Baltimore, MD, although it once stretched across the entire country. 

Nowadays, Old National Road is known as an historic version of our updated and more traversed highways, not unlike Route 66, and is full of classic diners, motels and other landmarks. The road runs through several key spots in Indianapolis, as well as through downtown Greenfield alongside the Pennsy Trail

What happens at the Historic National Road Yard Sale?

Started in 2003, this year will be the 17th annual Historic National Road Yard Sale. The event is traditionally held during the week following Memorial Day. Sales are generally open from dawn to dusk, with early bird sales on Wednesday-Thursday, larger community sales on Friday-Saturday and clearance sales on Sunday. 

Customers can expect great finds from antiques, clothes, garden produce and everything in between. Many communities throughout the route come together to provide visitors with more convenient opportunities to shop in larger sales. Travelers can also look for state landmarks, classic businesses and local festivals along the way.

How will it look different this year?

With many states just starting to reopen during the original sale dates, the event was moved to Aug. 19-23. Shoppers should expect a downscaled event this year, with many concurrent large vendor areas and community festivals having been cancelled. However, according to the sale’s Facebook page, “There are also many wonderful antique shops and unique restaurants along The National Road who are begging for business!” 

The sale’s organizers are moving forward with the rescheduled and smaller-scale event as they are cognizant of the current economic situation. Many sellers are looking to make extra cash and many buyers are looking for specific items they’ve been unable to find in stores. Participating vendors have been asked to provide sanitizing stations on site, and visitors and vendors alike are encouraged to follow CDC guidelines for mask use and social distancing.

What can we expect in the future?

As of now, the 18th annual Historic National Road Yard Sale is expected to run as usual. The official dates will be June 2-6, 2021 and sale organizers have said they will “work even harder to make this sale for 2021 bigger and better than ever.”

If you have questions about the Historic National Road Yard Sale you can visit their Facebook page.