If you're a yard-sale junkie you've got problems all your own but you should know that you're not alone. You can gather with others who share your affliction at an annual event that occurs every August on Highway 127. From Gadsden, Alabama all the way north to Addison, Michigan, hundreds of thousands of bargain hunters will journey there to a Mecca all their own searching through the miles of hidden treasures that are resurrected to the Hwy. 127 corridor --for sale-- from August 1 through August 4th.
They've been doing this for 25 years and somehow the world's longest yard sale grows a little longer each year. Exactly what that says about us you'd need to ask an economist or perhaps a psychiatrist.
Looking for a Model-A Ford or a pink Cadillac? John Wayne or Elvis Presley collectibles? Musical instruments? Farm equipment? Antique furniture? Jade figurines? Military memorabilia? Quilts and crafts? Clocks and watches? Thingamajigs and doodads? Snake oil salesmen and Abe Lincoln impersonators? They've got them all!
Of course, we share this information as a public service to help many of you with your travel plans. Misty Harding, who works in Tennessee for the Fentress County Chamber of Commerce --headquarters for the event!-- says that despite the huge number of visitors the 127 sale generates, traffic is well managed because people use their common sense for the occasion.
(And here I was thinking that maybe state police or the Dept. of Transportation might be needed to assist with traffic control, but she says it's no problem.)
It's become quite an iconic piece of American culture. According to the Fentress County Chamber folks, participants "band together as communities, in groups or as individuals and over a four-day weekend they welcome the onslaught of visitors from the North, South East and West. It is a mutual exchange of cultures with a common goal; to look, buy and sale! As you transverse the country roads, you will hear a collection of dialects, be privy to incredible stories related to the individuals and the items they sale and see a plethora of items that only your grandmother could love."
Misty says everyone's caught up in the spirit of it too and the folks at the chamber office expect to rake in a nice bundle selling t-shirts. If you go, naturally you've got to have the official 125-sale t-shirt. Why not!
Looking at it another way, perhaps it's an economic stimulus that comes from the ground up? This is big money changing hands and I'm delighted to say that the IRS doesn't get a nickel of it.
Not one. And that's why it's such a big success. But don't take my word for it. If you click here you can download a map and learn more about what this is all about...
World's longest yard sale! and there's information on vendors too.
Mark the date: Thursday, August 1.
And for those of you who may have been there before, please let us know if you enjoyed it and if you're going back this year!