'Ultimate Yard Sale' returns to Cumberland Fairgrounds

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CUMBERLAND — About 5,000 people are expected to flow into the Cumberland Fairgrounds for five hours Saturday, June 9, looking for deals from 200 sellers.

“Maine’s Ultimate Yard Sale” has been a major spring event at the 175 Blanchard Road site, occurring twice annually the past few years.

Also coming next month is Vintage Bazaar New England, which Cumberland Farmers Club President Mike Timmons expects will bring in 7,500 people a day on Saturday, June 30, and Sunday, July 1.

The yard sale – run by Binnie Media radio stations Frank 107.5, 99.9 The Wolf and Rock 106.3 – will open to vendors by 5 a.m. and will welcome the public between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Admission is $5, while children 12 and younger get in for free.

Food, drinks, restrooms, and handicapped parking will be available, and members of Cumberland’s fire and police departments will be on hand. Log onto facebook.com/mainesultimateyardsale for more information.

A complete list of upcoming activities at the fairground is posted at cumberlandfair.com/events.

In lieu of paying the Fairgrounds to use the space, the media outlet provides about $7,500 worth of advertising for the September fair, Timmons said, explaining that “they’re bringing their units on the grounds for three hours at a time … five times during (the) fair.”

“I think that their advertising works, because (the yard sale) is a pretty positive event,” Timmons added, noting that all vendor spaces are sold out, and “everyone seems to enjoy coming there. … They start early, they stay ’til 2 p.m., and it’s all cleaned up, and they leave.”

There’s something for everyone, he said: “I don’t see many leaving without a handful of something.”

In the years before the yard sale moved to Cumberland, “it got so big that we had to find a place that could handle the parking and the traffic, and the Cumberland Fair so far has worked out really well for us,” Stan Bennett, operations manager for Binnie Media Maine, said May 23.

“What’s important for us is that it doesn’t turn into a flea market,” he explained. “So we make sure that it continues to have that yard sale feel. … This is as if we took 200 yard sales that you would find on rural roads, people cleaning out their garages. That’s what keeps attracting people.”

And it keeps attracting the vendors – who Bennett calls “yard sellers” – as well. They come from as far as Georgia and Florida to sell their wares, quickly setting up their tables in the handful of hours before the yard sale kicks off.

“We set them up, and then we open the gates at 9 a.m., and there’s a mad rush,” Bennett said.

The event returns to the Fairgrounds Sept. 15, about a week before the annual Cumberland Fair takes place.

Vintage Bazaar

The Vintage Bazaar has “had 17 shows up through the years,” and is host to reconditioned antique vehicles from all over the country, Timmons said May 23. “It’s supposed to be a wonderful event.”

According to mybazaarlife.com, the event hosts “vintage finds, architectural salvage, rusty junk, repurposed goodness, indie crafts and one-of-a-kind artisans. Eye-candy galore around every corner.”

Held indoors at Thompson’s Point in Portland in April and December, the bazaar returns to the Fairgrounds in October for another outdoor showcase.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

“Maine’s Ultimate Yard Sale,” to be held at the Cumberland Fairgrounds Saturday, June 9, is expected to draw roughly 5,000 people.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.