CORNVILLE — When Boston Red Sox radio announcer Joe Castiglione mentions the Cornville 10-Mile Yard Sale on the air during a ballgame, all you can say is “Can you believe it?”

So far this season, the Red Sox Radio Network has been airing ads by the Maine Office of Tourism touting the Cornville event as an event to catch in Maine during tourist season.

The “yard sale” — now in its 32nd year of selling odds and ends, plants and tools, farm equipment and Army surplus items — is Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Rain or shine.

About 50 homes, lawns, barns, vacant lots and garages will display their wares from Cass’ Corner on Route 150 in Cornville down West Ridge Road to Malbons Mills Road in Skowhegan and on to the Kennebec River on U.S. Route 2.

“I actually had a friend of mine who said he was listening to the Red Sox game on the radio down in Massachusetts and heard the Cornville 10-Mile Yard Sale being advertised on the radio, which is pretty neat,” said event organizer Janet Bernard of Nelson’s Candies on West Ridge Road. “I think maybe that something had to do with all the shares we got on Facebook — we had hundreds.

“The last time I looked at it we had over 700 shares, which showed up on 35,000 news feeds, so we got quite a lot of exposure.”

By Tuesday afternoon the yard sale poster on Nelson’s Facebook page had been shared 817 times. Bernard said she also displayed the poster on the Facebook page of the Skowhegan Area Chamber of Commerce, where it also was shared.

“From there, it just got shared — it kept getting shared and shared and shared. I get notifications every day that the poster is being shared all over the place,” Bernard said. “It could have reached all over New England and even further.”

Steve Lyons, director of marketing at the Maine Office of Tourism, said the office has an ongoing contract with the Red Sox Radio Network to promote special events throughout the state and this year the Cornville yard sale is one of them.

“This is one of the events that we chose because it’s kind of unique and we like to spread the events around throughout the state,” Lyons said. “We provide many different events for that broadcast. We switch up the ads. We have eight tourism regions throughout the state of Maine and we kind of rotate them through.”

Skowhegan Police Chief Ted Blais said the area of Malbons Mills Road and Dr. Mann Road can get congested as cars slow down and illegally park for the yard sales. He said he will have “an extra officer doing yard sale duty” this weekend.

“We will be doing our best to keep the parking on one side of the road,” Blais said. “We will ticket or tow anyone that causes a traffic hazard. We have to keep the area open for emergency equipment to get through. I will be out there personally supervising the traffic issues.”

Skowhegan Road Commissioner Greg Dore said parking will be restricted.

Electronic signs will tell yard sale fans there is no parking on the east side of Malbons Mills Road and on the north side of Dr. Mann Road.

The mega yard sale began in 1983 with a handful of families getting together for a big lawn sale on West Ridge Road.

Over the years, it got bigger.

For several years people called it the Three-Mile Yard Sale. When the sales spread out in both directions it was renamed the Six-Mile Yard Sale. Now the sprawling flea market stretches for 10 miles south to the Kennebec River and to tributary roads east and west along the route. There also will be table rentals at the Cornville Regional Charter School on West Ridge Road.

Lyons, at the Office of Tourism, said the advertising campaign is financed through the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development with funding coming from a percentage of the state lodging and sales tax. Cornville organizers do not pay for the ads.

Lyons, who lives in the Lewiston/Auburn area, said he and his wife came up for the Cornville event a couple of years ago and enjoyed it.

“It was very interesting. We kind of like to poke around at yard sales, and with so many in one place it makes it convenient to look at everybody else’s throw-aways — the trash that could be a treasure for someone else, as they say. It’s kind of a little treasure hunt.”

The National Weather Service is predicting partly sunny conditions with a high temperature around 70 on Saturday with a mostly sunny sky on Sunday.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter: @Doug_Harlow


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