Shoppers nab 50 miles of bargains in Big Grab Yard Sale

Jeanne Reynolds photos

Thousands of bargain hunters thronged the roads between Blythewood, Ridgeway and Winnsboro Friday and Saturday for the seventh annual Big Grab yard sale: a 50-mile path of vendors, small businesses, families and visitors selling and buying nearly everything under the sun.

Antiques, artwork, crafts and handmade furniture filled hundreds of tables and tents set up along town streets and the highways between them, vying for attention with household items, sports gear and decorative items pulled from garages and attics.

Sun was the operative word as temperatures climbed into the 90s both days. That didn’t deter Patty and Rachel Adams of Fort Mill, who were combing through antiques mid-morning Friday in Blythewood. The mother-daughter team snapped up a pair of used shutters marked $20.

“It’s my third year coming to this,” Patty Adams said. “We’re redecorating our house and picking up things for it.”

Nearby, Wilson Isenhart of Elkins, West Virginia, accompanied his daughter-in-law, Shannon Evans of Lugoff, on their first visit to the Big Grab.

“I work in Ridgeway so I’ve seen it for years,” Evans said. “This year I wanted to actually go around and see it all.”

The Big Grab is the brainchild of Denise Jones, who lives in Blythewood and previously owned a consignment store in Ridgeway. In 2012 she convinced other local merchants to give a multi-town yard sale a try.

“It was an instant success,” Jones said. “Thousands of people came. We counted license plates from at least 12 different states.”

The Big Grab started with a 25-mile route the first year. It expanded to 45 miles with a new route to improve traffic flow and got as large as 85 miles at one point before settling back to 50 miles. The current route is an asymmetrical figure-eight loop along highways 321, 34 and 21, with a tail extending along Highway 21 to Interstate 20 outside Blythewood. Some locations had many vendors at one site, while others were scattered one-at-a-time along the route.

Jones said the two-day event was created with three goals in mind.
“We wanted to help small businesses and showcase our towns, bring the community together, and put some money in the pockets of local people,” she said. Although no official statistics are kept on attendance or sales, Jones estimates local businesses see a 25 percent increase in sales during the event from visitors who come to shop, eat and drink.

“It’s also a ‘green’ event,” Jones added. “People are selling things instead of throwing stuff in the dump.”

Categories: Arts & Entertainment, Blythewood, Richland County