ASHLAND Shoppers beware: There will be no U.S. 23 Yard Sale this year.
Sue Dowdy, executive director of the Ashland Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the sale, which normally is scheduled for the Thursday, Friday and Saturday before Memorial Day, has been canceled because of the social distancing guidelines in place as the result of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I had so many calls about it yesterday,” Dowdy said. “The governor won’t allow big crowds, so we aren’t having it this year. Pikeville isn’t doing theirs either.
“I think everybody should be discouraged from doing it.”
Each county’s visitors bureau organizes its county’s part of the sale. In Boyd County, the site has been Sargent’s Tires for the sale’s 15-year history.
Social distancing would be impossible, Dowdy said.
“(During the sale) Sargent’s is packed every day of the week. Absolutely jam-packed,” she said.
The local economy likely will feel some effects from lower gasoline sales and reduced traffic in the hospitality businesses such as hotels and restaurants, as the sale usually draws shoppers from as far away as Virginia and Tennessee.
While this is the first time the sale has been canceled, Dowdy said everyone, though disappointed, seems understanding.
“Nobody has complained by there have been a lot of inquiries,” she said. “It’s disappointing like everything else right now. We wish we could, but we can’t. But I hope it picks back up next year.”
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