New, improved ‘Junk Hunt’ is approaching
RISON—For anyone looking to unload some “junk” from around the house and make a few bucks doing it, the organizer of the Historic Highway 35 Junk Hunt said the perfect opportunity is just around the corner.
This year’s Highway 35 Junk Hunt will be held Thursday through Saturday, March 7-9, along about a 100-mile stretch of Arkansas Highway 35 extending from Benton to Monticello. The route covers four counties—Saline, Grant, Cleveland and Drew—and passes through the cities of Benton, Sheridan, Rison and Monticello.
Jennifer King, the volunteer organizer who created the Hwy. 35 Junk Hunt four years ago, is encouraging anyone who would like to set up sale this year to let her know as soon as possible. She said the more vendors that are committed to the event, the higher volume of shoppers they can attract.
For those intending to have a sale, King said they can make a post on the Historic Highway 35 Junk Hunt page on Facebook.
They can also send her a message through Facebook Messenger or text/call her at 870-917-8267.
The Highway 35 Junk Hunt can best be described as a series of rummage sales with businesses, churches, civic groups and others taking part as well.
Since the first Historic Highway 35 Junk Hunt was launched in 2016, King said they have had visitors from nearly every surrounding state make the Junk Hunt.
“I think we’ve counted nine (states) the best I can remember,” King said.
Bringing people to a part of Arkansas that they may not otherwise visit was one of the motivating factors in King’s decision to volunteer her time and effort to start the event.
“Junk Hunts are so good for our local areas by bringing in tons of out of towners and promoting not only our ‘junk,’ but our local businesses, landmarks, parks and recreational areas, and future events and festivals,” King wrote on Facebook. “And the best part, meeting new folks and visiting with old friends—that is the real treasure, the ‘junk’ is just a bonus!”
Cleveland County and Rison was the epicenter of the first Highway 35 Junk Hunt held in 2016, though there was participation in other areas as well. Since then, it has grown in scope and size in both Sheridan and Monticello.
The Monticello-Drew County Chamber of Commerce is offering free booth space on the chamber parking lot to all chamber members during the three days. For more information or to reserve booth spaces, contact the chamber office at 870-367-6741 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monticello Coffee Company, although not located on Highway 35, has already signed up to host a “hub” in Monticello, according to King. MCC’s address is 316 U.S. Highway 425 South, in the old Pizza Hut building.
“Junk” runs deep in King’s family. The daughter of an owner of an antique store, King recalls tagging along with her mother to estate sales, auctions and garage sales looking for items for the store.
One valuable piece of advice she likes to give people is that just because one person think it’s junk doesn’t mean it’s not valuable to someone else. She said she has seen people make money—and sometimes very good money—off things they were getting ready to throw in the trash.
She said this is especially true with the increased interest in “repurposing,” which is where an item is used in a project to create another item.
One Junk Hunt vendor in 2016 said he put out a bunch of old ceiling fan blades he had laying around. He said he only took them as a second thought. As it turned out, those fan blades became one of his hottest selling items as people were buying them to be used in repurposing projects.
“If y’all have ‘junk’ or even following the Marie Kondo trend of tidying up and keeping things that only spark joy, then clean out and put a price tag on it and a sign in your yard or find a place to set up along the route!” King told followers of the Highway 35 Junk Hunt Facebook page, which already this year has about 500,000 views.
She noted that while the sale will be concentrated along Highway 35, she encouraged those who live a bit off the path that they can still participate.
“It doesn’t have to be just along Highway 35, but off the beaten path too,” she said. Hence, Monticello Coffee Company’s interest.
One other improvement for this year is that King noted Highway 35 has been completely repaved from the Highway 35/U.S. Highway 167 intersection south of Sheridan to the Herbine community well south of Rison.