South Anchorage’s legendary Kempton Hills garage sale is making a big comeback this weekend

Last year, Andy Ball first participated as an owner in the Kempton Hills neighborhood. garage sale. He sold furniture, books and clothes. Friends also came to sell their things.

“I’m a little nervous to hear that the year has been slower than usual because it was quite busy,” Ball said. “There were a lot of people here last year for sure. But neighbors told me, “Oh, that’s not normal, it’s a COVID year.” And I said “Oh, shit”. “

About 30 to 40 homes participated in 2020 due to the pandemic, said Heather Jacobson, president of the Kempton Hills Homeowners Association. But on Saturday, she expects about half of the homeowners in the South Anchorage neighborhood, which has nearly 200 homes, to attend the annual garage sale.

The Kempton Hills Garage Sale has been going on for approximately 35 years. For many, it’s a social outing. Hundreds of residents flock to the area, some towing Radio Flyer cars on the sidewalk. Others carry suitcases and strollers to fill up with finds.

And find that they are: toolboxes. Toys. Kayaks. Halloween decorations. Layers. Bicycles. Dinnerware sets. Moose antlers. Trampolines.

From newborn clothes to ball gowns, it’s all there.

“You kind of see the milestones, because people stay in these homes for a long time,” said Jacobson, who has lived in the neighborhood since 2013.

In addition to families selling their household items, some are using the high volume of traffic to their advantage to support fundraising efforts. In the past, Girl Scout troops and soccer teams sold popcorn and hot dogs.

This year, however, there will be no prepared food for sale due to COVID-19, Jacobson said. Portable toilets and hand washing stations will be available.

Andy Ball is backing some of the things he plans to sell at the annual Kempton Hills Garage Sale on Wednesday, May 19, 2021. The popular neighborhood event will take place this year on Saturday, May 22. (Loren Holmes / DNA)

In the past, neighboring neighborhoods have lined up their garage sales to coincide with Kempton Hills, ”she said.

Candlesticks line the street, with cars packed on either side of Kempton Hills Drive.

Parking on the outskirts of the neighborhood is a better approach than walking through it, Jacobson said: Not only will you have a hard time finding parking, but you’ll likely make traffic worse.

“Come in, hop on foot, and bring your cart or whatever else you might want to take home your treasures,” Jacobson said.

Additionally, people tend to walk on the road at times, making it difficult for attempts to drive through the neighborhood, Jacobson said.

“There is so much foot traffic,” she says. “We’re just doing our best to keep everyone safe.”

Another tip: don’t be an “early riser,” Jacobson said. The sale does not officially start until 9 a.m. on Saturday.

In addition to selling some of his own items this year, Ball is selling furniture for his parents, who are downsizing. His friends drive on a U-Haul, full of furniture and “purged” items.

“We live right around the corner – like, we’re the first house when you get to Kempton Hills,” he said. “So we like to play the part. Usually, if I don’t have things to sell, I let my friends and parents sell their stuff. “

A sign for the annual Kempton Hills garage sale is seen on a fence on Wednesday, May 19, 2021 (Loren Holmes / ADN)

Ball said he had attended the sale before as a customer, probably “three or four times,” picking up “knicky-knack type things” but nothing worthy of “Antiques Roadshow” – yet.

He scored a free guitar amp with a familiar story.

“I posted it on Facebook like, ‘Wow, look what I just got for free at the Kempton Hills garage sale,” ”Ball said. A friend of mine on Facebook said to me, ‘Wait, this looks like my old amp.’ “

Turns out it was. His friend’s father had put it on the sidewalk as a present.

“It’s a really cool event,” Ball said. “I’m always trying to find my place in this.”

In this 2016 photo, people roam the Kempton Hills neighborhood in search of bargains at the neighborhood’s annual garage sale on May 21, 2016. The event typically packs the neighborhood with people and cars. (Bob Hallinen / DNA archives)

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