A decades-old tradition is still on in Clatskanie.
The community-wide yard sale, scheduled from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 1, at houses all over the city.
The event, which usually costs $10 to participate, will be free for all participants this year, according to event organizer Lori Sherman.
Those who wish to sell their wares in their Clatskanie yard need only post their address in the comments on the Facebook event page, entitled “Community-Wide Yard Sale,” and Sherman will add it to the map and list of addresses.
The event page is only found through various Clatskanie Facebook community pages, such as Clatskanie Community Bulletin Board or Clatskanie City Festival 2020. Those who want a direct link can go to the following website: https://www.facebook.com/events/987262915063641.
Change of leadership
In previous years, the Clatskanie Chamber of Commerce had spearheaded the event, and had used the $10 fee to cover the cost of advertising, printing maps, and to raise some money for the Chamber, according to Chamber President Monica Seidl. All of that changed about two years ago at a strategic planning session, when the Chamber decided to no longer lead the city-wide yard sale
because of wanting to focus more on businesses in town rather than on individuals, Seidel said.
“The community-wide yard sale seemed to be something for individuals, and wasn’t something we felt as a chamber we wanted to spearhead anymore,” Seidl said.
Last year, the event was led by a small group of individuals in the community, Seidl said. This year, Sherman, who leads the Clatskanie City Festival each year, is taking the helm, and one of the first things she did was get rid of the fee.
“I try to make things for free, that way it doesn’t leave anybody out,” Sherman said.
Rather than advertise for the event in local newspapers and by printing out flyers to pass around town, which has been done in the past, Sherman rounded up Wendy MacDougall from Mist-Birkenfeld and JoAnn Blodgett from Clatskanie to take care of the advertising this year, which is mostly done through social media.
MacDougall was able to post the event page to different community groups on Facebook where she is an administrator, meaning she has posting privileges. Blodgett is doing the same thing on a lot of her social media pages.
“She [MacDougall] has a large following. So does JoAnn,” Sherman said. “Between the two of them, they can reach hundreds of people.”
There are usually about 50 houses that participate in the Community-wide yard sale, according to Sherman. On the day it happens this year, there will be a physical and digital copy of a map of all participating houses, Sherman said, and it will likely be posted on the Facebook event page.
One part of the yard sale that will not be happening this year is renting out tables at the American Legion Hall, Sherman said. In previous years, people could rent tables to display items to be sold, either in addition to or instead of selling items at their house.
Tables were rented out for $10 each, and proceeds from table-renting went toward the American Legion, which in turn funded Veterans’ activities, or went toward adding additional names to the Clatskanie Veterans Memorial, according to Sherman. Sales raised each year ranged from $100 to $150, Sherman said.
This year, the only profits made from yard sales are for the individuals participating in their homes.
But table-renting might not be totally off the table, according to Sherman. Something Sherman said she was still considering was setting up tables to rent at a city lot behind FINS Custom Tackle and Café. The lot will already be rented out for some activities for the Clatskanie City Festival, which will be going on at the same time. Sherman said she hasn’t gotten the OK from the city yet to do that, but if it is approved, tables will be free, and people will only have to sign a waiver.
Sherman noted that similar events, like in Longview, have been canceled due to the pandemic. Sherman said she felt like that wasn’t necessary.
“I just want people to have just as much normalcy as we can during this pandemic,” Sherman said. “People have had a lot of time to clean and want to sell things and all of that.”
Sherman added the yard sale would involve homes outside in the fresh air, meaning that transmission of COVID-19 is less likely.