I was having dinner with a friend last night and asked how her parents were doing. She told me that they’ll soon be taking their annual pilgrimage to the World’s Longest Yardsale. Since I didn’t have a clue what she was talking about, I asked her to explain. Everyone who knows me knows that I am intrigued by all things bizarre (yes, I consider this a bit bizarre) so I went home and googled it and there it was in all its black and white glory. Color me fascinated! THE YARDSALE EXTENDS ACROSS FIVE STATES COVERING A TERRAIN OF 690 MILES AND THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF VENDORS. Here’s what else you need to know about this 26-year-old tradition…
NOW 690 MILES!
From 5 Miles North of Addison, Michigan
to Gadsden, Alabama!
Countdown to the 2013 Sale ( Aug 1-4):
27 Days, 01 Hours, 21 Minutes, 59 Seconds (as of 7/4/13)
“It is aptly titled, “The Worlds Longest Yard Sale!” Every year individuals clean out their closets and stake out their front yards along the Hwy 127 corridor stretching over 690 miles from Addison, Michigan to Gadsden, Alabama. They 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.
The concept of the World’s Longest Yard Sale in August is to pull people off the interstates and back into the heartland of rural, scenic America. The event encourages businesses and residents to participate by having yard sales, sidewalk sales and special promotions for a continuous stretch from one end of the sale route to the other. Once established, the end result is lots of fun for vendors and shoppers alike. We have all heard the saying “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” That adage holds true as this event brings people together from all across the country and from around the world to barter and haggle over things that may have been stored in a garage or an attic somewhere for years. The pleasure we derive from rummaging through someone’s junk, hoping to find something unique and maybe even to stumble across an item worth a lot to you but the seller says, “I’ll take .50 cents for that.” What joy! Oh, and you get to meet some pretty neat people by the way. We hope you take the time to travel the yard sale route. You will be glad you did. Discover the wonders YOUR America has to offer. The yard sale brings about various questions from people that are knew to the event. Hopefully these answers will help to give people a better understanding of the events.
Q. How do I become a VENDOR?
A. Anyone can be a vendor by simply having a yard sale in their yard, at their business or setting up in designated vendor places. Many communities have different places were vendors from within and outside of that town or city can set up a booth. The main thing is to be sure you have permission from the land owner to set up a booth. Usually the more the merrier therefore clusters of vendors are commonly found along the route.
Q. What can I SELL?
A. Almost anything! Popular is junk, antiques, collectibles, dishes and glassware, to farm implements, food items, produce and more. Some things to consider however are business licenses and health department permits. Each town has different rules and regulations so be sure to check with the local City Hall and Health Department where you set up your booth for any licenses or permits you may need to purchase.
Q. WHERE are the YARD SALES?
A. Yard sales can be found along the route at homes located on the designated route, in business parking lots, along side streets adjacent to the route, in wide open fields and pastures (remember, these roads pass through beautiful rural areas with farms and some of the most awesome scenery you will find anywhere), and basically anywhere people can find to set up. Some areas will have large numbers of vendors in one group, others may be scattered and in some instances you may travel for several miles or more without seeing a yard sale because of the distances between homes on the country roads.
Q. Where does it BEGIN and where do I PARK?
A. The current length of the World’s Longest Yard Sale takes you from Gadsden, AL to West Unity, OH. You might decide to start at the southern end and travel north or right the opposite. You may decide to jump on board anywhere in between. Parking may be limited in some areas to virtually impossible in other places to ample. It depends on the area. The yard sale routes become narrow country roads in many places but don’t let that discourage you. VERY IMPORTANT – be cautious of the driver in front of you and pedestrians on the roadway – be patient and a parking space will present itself.
Q. What TIME do the SALES BEGIN?
A. Each vendor is on their own and can choose when they want to begin but typically vendors are active by 8:00 a.m. and operate until late in the evening.
Q. Can I SHIP items home?
A. Definitely! You found something you just had to have but don’t have room to load in your vehicle? Many communities have shipping centers and of course Post Offices. They will be glad to work with you to get your items home so you can continue on the yard sale route.
Q. WHO ORGANIZES this event?
A. The event was created by tourism officials in Jamestown, Tennessee, but rely on community support from each town and/or county tourism and chamber office to promote the event in their regions. The success of the sales depend on coordination from each community.
Q. What does it COST to participate?
A. There is no fee to participate however some vendor spaces may charge a nominal rental fee to allow you to set up a booth.
Q. Is there an ADMISSION FEE?
A. NO. You should never have to pay admission. The event was not set up for that purpose.
Q. How long will it take me to get from point A to point B?
A. That depends on how disciplined you are and how much ground you want to travel in one day. If you have to stop at every yard sale then it may take you awhile. It is easy enough to “cruise” the yard sales and travel a modest distance but it also easy to get caught up in the event and spend 3 to 4 hours in one area. Pre-Plan. Decide in advance how much time you want to spend in each area and try to stick with your plan. But most of all – have a good time and enjoy the sights and sounds.
Q. Are there HOTELS near the yard sales and should I make RESERVATIONS?
A. Yes, there are plenty of accommodations located along the way. Making reservations is a wise decision but you have to have a plan and be disciplined to make your destination for the night. Getting a room may be difficult if you wait too late in the day to find a place but not impossible.
(INFORMATION POSTED CAME FROM THEIR OFFICIAL WEBSITE, www.127sale.com)
For more information, call 1-800-327-3945 or visit their website, www.127sale.com.
NOTE: There was so much information about other events and activities that take place during the four-day yard sale that I have decided to post a follow up blog closer to time for the big event so stay tuned…
If anyone is planning to attend this year or has attended in the past and has helpful advice or a funny story, I would love to hear from you!