Yard sale days return to Prospect Park

The neighborhood tradition returns, giving residents an opportunity to sell, shop and interact with their neighbors.


Alexa Lewis

Many items were for sale at the Prospect Park Yard and Tailgate sale on June 26th. The event featured yard sales, free items, and garden walks.

Hanna Van Den Einde

Yard sale days returned to the Prospect Park neighborhood on June 26 and 27 for the first time since the pandemic began, giving residents an opportunity to shop and meet their neighbors.

The neighborhood-wide yard sales have been a tradition in Prospect Park since 2014. After more Minnesotans received the vaccine and Gov. Tim Walz lifted restrictions on outdoor gatherings, the event was brought back.

In order to increase foot traffic in the neighborhood, neighbors hosted the yard sales at the same time as plant sales, some also offering tours through their gardens.

Gib Ahlstrand, the coordinator of the event, said that he felt there was a sense of enthusiasm throughout the neighborhood about the yard sales returning.

“It’s part of the community tradition,” Ahlstrand said. “Like any tradition when the cycle is broken and then you come back to it again a bit later, it’s a resurgence of enthusiasm again to see the old tradition coming back and giving people an opportunity to unload junk.”

There were 25 yard sales and five tailgate sales during the weekend.

The tailgate sales allowed neighbors who do not have yards to sell items out of the back of their cars. Over two-thirds of Prospect Park residents rent their homes, according to the Prospect Park Association website.

Barb Thomasson moved to Prospect Park in 2020 and participated in the tailgate sales for the first time in 2021.

“[The tailgate sale] wasn’t available and we still had a lot of things that we needed to get rid of,” Thomasson said. “Doing the tailgating, or the boot sale is for those of us who don’t have yards or garages to have a sale. It’s been great, plus I’ve met neighbors.”

Yard sale days gave an opportunity for residents of Prospect Park to get rid of household items, but it also allowed residents to interact and meet their neighbors for one of the first times since the pandemic started.

Kristen Rainey has lived in the Prospect Park neighborhood for 12 years. She shopped in past years, but decided to participate as a seller for the first time last Saturday.

“My parents are starting to downsize their house into an apartment and it was sort of an inspiration for me this year to be in the tailgate sale,” Rainey said. “I thought there would be more traffic, foot traffic, if I came over here and did the tailgate sale.”

Ruby Dennis and Lee Werner participated in the tailgate sale for the first time this year. Dennis said that it felt great to be selling off vintage clothes.

“I feel like a part of the neighborhood again, being able to see everybody, run into people I know and it feels like things are opening up,” said Dennis.