Ethan Steinquest/Macon County Times Jessica Deromedi moved to Lafayette in January and was drawn to the Highway 52 Yard Sale, which she attended with her selection of custom signs and more on Friday.

Ethan Steinquest/Macon County Times

Jessica Deromedi moved to Lafayette in January and was drawn to the Highway 52 Yard Sale, which she attended with her selection of custom signs and more on Friday.

When Jessica Doromedi went house hunting in Lafayette last year, she spotted the Highway 52 Yard Sale and fell in love with the community.

From the time she moved into the city from St. Louis, she knew she would participate in the event, which allowed her to get to know her new neighbors and build her home business.

"I'm a big garage-sale shopper, so we came out to look at stuff on Wednesday night," Doremedi said. "I told my husband we'd have to take shifts so I can go look around today. It's been great. There's been a lot of traffic, and everyone's been wonderful to talk to."

Doremedi spent the weekend of the 20th annual yard sale selling a collection of items that she made herself, from welcome signs and wine glasses to tobacco sticks and shirts.

"This highway sale, I've actually called (people in St. Louis) and told them about it," Doremedi said. "Where I'm from, they'd have flea-market sales in the same place with the same people every week, so this is amazing."

Whether by talking to customers or exploring what other sellers had to offer, Doromedi was also able to connect with several community members she had yet to meet.

"One seller had taken some old windows and turned them into cabinets," Doremedi said. "There were also people across the highway selling antiques that I thought were pretty nifty. I like to find things that are unique. I'm not so much into your old clothes or stuff from the basement."

Clarence and Martha Haddix - of Scottsville, Kentucky - were among those selling unique crafts and vintage items.

The two have been attending the yard sale for approximately 10 years, first as customers and later as vendors. They often bring a camper to spend the weekend on the highway, and they work on the variety of items they sell together.

"We just picked it up over the years," Martha Haddix said of their hobby. "We started out with a few pieces, and people always asked what we called ourselves. We always said we were just piddlin' parts, so we call ourselves Just Piddlin' Primitives."

Meeting and talking to people is what brings the couple back each year, and they frequently visit Macon County to eat or shop during the week.

"We've picked up a little bit of everything at yard sales," Martha Haddix said. "A lot of the time we'll buy things for our grandkids, because you've got to take care of them."

The thrill of finding something new is also a draw for regular yard sale attendees, such as Regina Cox of Lafayette. She has been coming to the event for more than five years.

"You never know what treasures you'll find, even if you think you aren't looking," Cox said. "For me, I'm a coin collector, and I give my son some money and set him loose. He doesn't know what he's looking for but always comes back with something, and he's proud to have bought it himself."