GREENCASTLE -- For more than three decades, residents of Berry Street have come together for what is today a flea market.
Many years before, it started as a picnic organized by the late Russell Myers.
According to lifetime Berry Street resident Cheryl Salsman, "On the last Sunday of July in 1947, at dawn, Russell went up and down Berry Street, signaling folks to fill their picnic baskets and line the street with their vehicles."
"With crepe paper streamers flying on the radio antennas and car horns blowing, he led the caravan to McCormick's Creek State Park for the picnic," Salsman said.
The picnic went on for 15 years, but diminished as residents passed away or moved. Then in 1975, two West Berry Street residents, Jackie Young and Joyce Leer, brought back the togetherness by suggesting a yard sale.
Now, it has turned into a flea market, which more than 3,000 people attended its first year. It holds certain traditions, such as the serving of bean soup and cornbread. The late Homer and Lucille Cook began selling the two food items from their front yard.
"The first year, they ran out of 20 pounds of beans by 10 a.m.," Salsman recalled. "They made double the amount the next year and it continued to grow."
The Cooks may be gone from this world, but their tradition lives on, with others making beans and cornbread on Berry Street.
This year, the 35th annual Berry Street flea market will be held Saturday starting at 8 a.m. or before. Residents will be set up from Jackson to Bloomington streets including several on the north-south streets off Berry Street.
Attendees can stroll through the many yards, porches, driveways and garages to find plenty of treasures and handmade crafts by local craftsmen. Along the way, there will be treats from sweets to the traditional beans and cornbread.
Along with the bean soup and cornbread, biscuits and gravy and coffee will be served at the South College Food Court, 1107 S. College Ave. Singer Jodi Buis will entertain guests at 10 a.m. in the food court.
Berry Street is located one mile south of the courthouse. Port-O-Lets will be placed on Warren Street (between Jackson and Indiana streets.) The city has exempted parking regulations on the south side of Berry Street for the day.
For more information regarding the Berry Street flea market, call Cheryl Salsman at 526-2100.