CORNVILLE — Don’t panic — you haven’t missed the Cornville 10-mile yard sale.

It’s just a little late this year.

The 33rd annual event that sails from the top of West Ridge Road in Cornville all the way to the Kennebec River in Skowhegan is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, May 21 and 22 — next weekend.

“Some people get confused, with Memorial Day being late (this year),” said Janet Bernard, of Nelson’s Candies, about the yard sale route and in her ninth year as unofficial information officer for the event. “It’s running late this year, later than normal. Last year the yard sale was the 16th and 17th. This year it’s the 21st and 22nd — it’s five days later. That’s because Memorial Day is later.”

The yard sale is always on the weekend before Memorial Day weekend, she said.

An older centralmaine.com story about a previous year’s yard sale got so much website traffic this week that the Morning Sentinel had to put a post on its Facebook page reminding readers that this year’s sale isn’t until next weekend. That post was shared 168 times as of Friday afternoon.

The Cornville yard sale began in 1983 when a handful of families got some stuff together for a combined lawn sale on West Ridge Road. Others liked the idea and joined in along the route, so that a few years later, people started calling it the 3-mile yard sale.

Then it became the 6-mile yard sale as more families joined in, stretching onto side roads and into Skowhegan. Now there are yard sales 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.

It’s 10 miles. No exaggeration.

“I created a Facebook page for the yard sale for the future,” Bernard said. “That’s the first time I’ve done it. I figured I might as well do it; everybody’s on Facebook.”

The event last year was part of Red Sox Radio Network advertisements by the Maine Office of Tourism, touting the Cornville event as an event to catch in Maine during the summer. Red Sox radio announcer Joe Castiglione mentioned the event during games.

Items for sale include everything imaginable: baseball cards, baby clothes, Army surplus items, Maine maple syrup, tools, nuts, bolts, plant seedlings, antiques, farm equipment and toys.

When the sales began to cluster in Skowhegan, the Police Department cracked down on people stopping their cars in traffic to browse the sales, which made for a parking nightmare and a potential hazard for emergency vehicles to traverse the streets. Tickets would be written, police said.

“We’ll have one additional officer on Saturday and myself, the same as last year,” Skowhegan police Chief Don Bolduc said Friday.

“The two officers on duty will also patrol the area. Sunday is less attended than Saturday, so usually just having the two on-duty officers patrol the area is adequate.

“We ask everyone to adhere to the no-parking signs in order to keep the roadway clear to allow traffic and emergency vehicles through without issues.”

Skowhegan Road Commissioner Greg Dore said parking will be restricted.

Electronic signs will tell yard sale attendees parking is prohibited on the east side of Malbons Mills Road and on the north side of Dr. Mann Road.

Bernard said some people start setting up their yard sales on the Friday before the formal event begins. She said Saturday is the big day. In one recent year, she said, 1,300 people came to the candy maker on the Saturday of the yard sale weekend.

She said the yard sales have grown in number over recent years, with new people setting up tables and some of the traditional yard salers dropping out.

“I never know who’s doing what because I don’t get out enough,” Bernard said. “I got out last year because we had a wedding to go to and I noticed there was a lot of sales. There were quite a bit of people set up on Sunday, too.”

There are no parking restrictions on West Ridge Road in Cornville or on any other the participating roads outside of Skowhegan.

Bernard said visitors can always expect to find “some pretty cool things” along the 10-mile route.

“You might find a boat; you might find a car or a snowmobile — anything,” she said. “I think last year was one of the biggest, the best attended. It’s just become so big, and it brings a lot of business into the area for a lot of the convenience stores, the restaurants. Local businesses, I think, do benefit from it.”

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter:@Doug_Harlow

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