West Point's community-wide yard sale brings neighbors together

Staff writer

Neighbors agreed the first-ever downtown West Point community yard sale was a smashing success.

The event, which took place on Saturday, March 30, was organized by members of the Women of West Point Facebook group.

Neighbors across downtown West Point were encouraged to set up yard sales. Cindy Sandelin, resident and Women of West Point member, said the event came together as a way to meet neighbors, do some spring cleaning and attract out-of-town visitors to their community.

“Everyone was in support because it’s hard to get people to come over from Williamsburg, for some reason they think it’s so far away,” Sandelin said. “The idea was that if we have everybody doing it, there’s going to be more of a chance of having huge traffic coming through.”

She said 23 downtown homes hosted yard sales, along with local businesses and a handful of uptown homes.

Space was also available in West Point’s Town Park for uptown residents who wanted to be closer to the downtown yard sales, Sandelin said. Each participant was responsible for providing their own tables and yard sale set-ups.

West Point resident Ashley Armstrong said she heard about the yard sale through the Women of West Point Facebook page and saw it grow from a simple post into an event that spanned the entire downtown community.

“The turnout has been absolutely great, we’ve gotten rid of a lot of stuff,” she said. “Not only did I have a yard sale, but I also bought quite a few things.”

One of the businesses participating in the sale was Divin’ Off the Dock, a West Point clothing, accessory and home decor boutique.

Other participating businesses and organizations included Anchors Away Antiques & Collectibles, Achilles Foot and Ankle Center Inc., West Point Antiques, The Blue Crab of West Point restaurant, the Historical Society of West Point and the West Point Pamunkey Regional Library, according to a past Tidewater Review report.

Beth Kelley, marketing assistant and daughter of Divin’ Off the Dock store co-owner Diane Rilee, said participating in the event was a natural fit for the store.

“We’ve been here for 10 years, and a big part of our growth here has been being part of the community,” she said. “When we heard about this, we were all over it. Being a business in this little town, whenever you can support something, you should.”

Kelley said that last season’s clothing and Christmas decorations were among the items for sale on the store’s front lawn. At its height, Rilee said there were about 40 people underneath the store’s tent browsing the yard sale.

“Who doesn’t like a good, old-fashioned yard sale?” Kelley said.

Given the event’s success, Sandelin said the community-wide yard sale will likely return as an annual event.

“We’ve had moments where it’s been hard to manage everybody in our yard sale,” she said. “I think we will probably do this every year.”

Arriaza can be reached at 757-790-9313 or on Twitter @rodrigoarriaza0.

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