Harvard Avenue Block Sale goes on despite disapproval from city officials

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Small groups of people walked up and down Harvard Avenue in Central Fresno to take advantage of one of the streets' oldest and most popular traditions: The Harvard Avenue Block Sale.

But this year, the pandemic has resulted in a different outcome.

"It was like 10 percent of what it is right now," says Sam Amezcua. "It would be shoulder to shoulder with people and sidewalks would be packed."

Amezcua has attended the event for the last 10 years and says he expected a much smaller turnout.

"It was the COVID," he said. "The COVID had a lot to do with it."

Friday, the mayor of Fresno and other city officials made it clear they did not support the event and urged people not to attend this year due to COVID-19 concerns.

While yard sales are still allowed in the city, Councilmember Esmeralda Soria says this event was different due to the sheer size and amount of people who normally attend.

"It is not a normal, just one household yard sale," she said. "It is a massive gathering, and that is what the city of Fresno wanted to avoid."

Despite the statements from city officials, the block sale still moved forward.

According to Soria, Code Enforcement was present during the event and there were no citations.

"Block sales, just so the community knows are unauthorized," she said. "We don't allow the commingling of folks or having a ton of vendors."

Soria says she's happy with the turnout. Instead of a block sale, the event was more like individual yard sales where people followed safety precautions.

By late afternoon, most all vendors had packed up.
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