Four days of bargains begins in North Alabama this month
By Lori Quiller
Looking for a great bargain? Then mark your calendar for Aug. 7-10 and make your plans to check out the World’s Longest Yard Sale.
This annual four-day event stretches from Alabama following the Lookout Mountain Parkway and U.S. Highway 127 North to Michigan, and it’s the perfect opportunity for shoppers to check out what vendors have to offer, as well as a chance to enjoy the scenic parts of Alabama you may not have visited before.
According to John Dersham, president and CEO of DeKalb Tourism, the Highway 127 Yard Sale will easily bring 30-40,000 visitors to the Lookout Mountain area during the long weekend, which is one reason why tourism officials take the time to encourage visitors to check out more than just the vendors participating in the sale event.
“Because of Alabama’s public parks and mountains, this is a great vacation spot, and we promote that,” Dersham said. “Every piece of available land in the area will have tents set up for sales…really everything from Gadsden north along the corridor will have something for sale.”
Dersham added that the event in 2013 produced more than $2.5 million of revenue for the county in just four days, calling it “the largest single event of the year.”
“It really is a fun getaway weekend that’s more than just selling knickknacks,” Dersham said. “It’s a great way to have a good time visiting Alabama’s state parks and scenic mountains.”
Following the Lookout Mountain Parkway, visitors will come to Mentone, which will also be filled with yard sale participants during the weekend in August. Ray Padgett, who owns Kamama Fine Art with his wife Sandra, said he’s looking forward to the event this year.
“This place will be a sea of white tents!” Padgett laughed. “The entire mountain will be! It gets quite crowded, but it’s a lot of fun because of all the people that we meet. Mentone is already a diverse community, and the yard sale brings in a lot of people who have never been here before…and that’s a good thing.”
Anyone can participate in the yard sale, even homeowners, but some vendors make arrangements with shop owners to set up in their parking lots. Vendors can sell almost anything during the weekend, but antiques, collectibles, glassware, clothes, housewares and food can be found under the tents.
Because the yard sale covers more than 690 miles, here are a few tips to make your trip a success:
- If you’re staying overnight, make your accommodations early. Local hotels will fill up quickly.
- Don’t forget the sunscreen and mosquito repellant to protect you and your children from the elements. All yard sale events are outdoors.
- Wear comfortable shoes and drink plenty of fluids.
- Bring cash. Some vendors may be set up for credit cards, but be prepared for cash-only transactions.
- Shop early! Most vendors will open at 8 a.m., but some operate sunup to sundown.
- Be cautious of vehicles and watch for pedestrians. This event will have you walking most of the time, so remember where you parked your vehicle.
For more information on the World’s Longest Yard Sale in Alabama, go to www.ShopLookoutMountain.com.
Lori Quiller is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about the people, places and things that make Alabama special. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.