Community yard sale helps Swannanoa

Valerie Taylor
Special to The Black Mountain News

The weather is cooling down, and the yard doesn’t need cutting as often. Summer is winding down, so folks are running out of excuses for not cleaning out their garage or basement where their things are stored.

Some of those “things” reside in a corner in Laurie Fisher’s house. But they’re destined for Swannanoa’s Community Yard Sale, returning again this year to the Swannanoa Ingles parking lot at 2299 U.S. 70, from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3.

Fisher sells household goods, jewelry creations and perennial plants. “If I didn’t have this (the yard sale), I’d have to do Craigslist or something like that,” she said. “And I’d rather do this.”

News of Swannanoa’s first yard sale of this scope, in 2013, didn’t reach Fisher in time. But she’s not missed one since, even last year’s rain-out.

That was the one where she made the most money. While most vendors dropped out, the shoppers came, “so they ravaged my offerings,” she said.

This year’s sale is also “rain or shine,” event organizers say. So vendors are encouraged to take their cue from Fisher and show up, no matter what Mother Nature has in mind.

“We’re taking registrations right now,” said Beth McKinney, board member of the sponsoring group, Friends and Neighbors of Swannanoa (FANS).

“And we have to limit the number of spaces we rent out, so we encourage vendors to register quickly since we usually sell out.”

To reserve a 10- by 10-foot space, vendors can contact or (828) 581-9707. Proceeds help fund community projects in Swannanoa.

FANS is a grassroots, non-profit organization whose mission is to “work for a strong and vibrant Swannanoa by encouraging active involvement, fostering community spirit and honoring our unique history and natural heritage.”

To Fisher, that’s what this event is about. It’s more than just about selling “stuff,” she believes. It’s also a return to community.

“I’ve met some long-forgotten people - people who I knew before, and then got to see and know again.”

FANS also organizes the annual Community Clean-Up, maintains its Garden That Gives and is working with county officials to make improvements along U.S. 70 that it hopes will include sidewalks, crosswalks, streetscaping, bus shelters and new “Welcome to Swannanoa” signs.

To learn more about FANS and its community involvement projects, visit