World’s Longest Yard Sale This Weekend

It is Thursday afternoon, and the day is hot. Upon walking up to the myriad tents and stalls along the 93-mile Lookout Mountain Parkway, one is usually acknowledged with a “How ya doin?”

“Fine. How are you?”

The answer is almost always along the lines of “Shoot, I’m burning up,” followed by a smile and a brief summary of the treasures for sale. You never quite know what you’ll find at the World’s Longest Yard Sale, and therein lies the excitement.

On this particular day, vendors display large tables of cast-iron skillets, vintage aprons and table linens, Raggedy Ann dolls, antique knives and whiskey bottles, books, figurines, vintage broaches and jewelry, homemade jellies and fudge, fresh produce, toys, games—the list is endless.

Begun in 1987, the sale was intended to encourage travelers away from the region’s major interstates and toward the more scenic back roads that showcase small town America in all its glory. Twenty-seven years later, the sale stretches 690 miles from Michigan to Alabama and is a boon to local economies in its path, attracting tourists from around the world.

For some people, the main attraction is the “hunt”—the anticipation of a surprise find or the satisfaction that comes with haggling a good deal. For others, it is the chance to explore places off the beaten path, eating down-home cooking and sleeping in quaint, historic inns or hotels. Especially along the route that passes through Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee, the promise of unfettered hospitality and friendly conversation is just as alluring.

The World’s Longest Yard Sale continues through Sunday, August 10, and passes through six counties in the Thrive 2055 region: DeKalb, Dade, Walker, Hamilton, Sequatchie, and Bledsoe. For more information, visit http://www.127yardsale.com.

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