The annual Take a Break from the Interstate 3-Day Road Market along U.S. 21, from Wytheville, Va., to Harmony in northern Iredell County, is this Friday through Sunday.

The event encourages people to leave Interstate 77 and experience the region in a more personal way by traveling on historic, two-lane U.S. 21 as it winds through the countryside and small towns.

Take a Break from the Interstate features dozens of roadside yard sales and other vendors along U.S. 21 in the North Carolina counties of Iredell, Yadkin, Surry and Alleghany, as well as the northeastern corner of Wilkes in the State Road and Thurmond communities. In Virginia, it goes through Grayson and Wythe counties.

Elkin will have vendor space and special events this year, along with 24-hour restrooms. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, vendor spaces will be 20 feet apart. Food trucks will be set up Friday night and Saturday. The Box Car Dogs will perform at the Heritage Center on Standards Street in downtown Elkin from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

A cruise-in event is from 3-8 p.m. Saturday in Elkin. Cruisers will be set up at Crater Park on East Standard Street to allow parking for vendor shoppers at the Heritage & Visitor Center. Cruisers can also cruise and park along Main Street if room on East Standard Street runs out.

Elkin hosts cruise-in events on the fourth Saturday of each month through October.

The Elkin Farmers Market, at the corner of North Bridge Street (U.S. 21) and Market Street, will be open beyond its normal closing time of 3 p.m. Saturday.

Take a Break from the Interstate results from the efforts of local governments, tourism officials, business representatives and others along a 70-mile section of U.S. 21.

Sparta businessman Don Miles, founder of Take a Break from the Interstate, said the event has a two-fold effect upon towns along U.S. 21. “Not only is the Road Market directly responsible for thousands of monetary transactions, but it also gives the towns and residents along the route a sense of community.”

Take a Break from the Interstate organizers said vendors and attendees are asked to wear masks, stay six feet apart and wash hands frequently during the event. Other guidelines differ in Virginia and North Carolina.

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