127 Yard Sale time again

Posted July 24, 2013 at 2:00 pm

It’s here again already. The “World’s Longest Outdoor Yard Sale,” better known as the U.S. 127 Yard Sale, is set to begin next week across several states, including throughout Kentucky and here in Clinton County.

This year will mark the 26th year of the event, which got its origins in nearby Jamestown, Tennessee in the 1980s.

Even though the official date of the sale is the first weekend of August, Thursday through Sunday, the first through the fourth, vendors usually begin setting up days earlier, sometimes and in some locations as early as the first Monday of the week that leads to the official yard sale date. That means this year sales may begin before the month of July is over.

There are always several 127 Sale locations in and around the Albany/Clinton County area, but chief among them is still the many repeat vendors that set up shop at Mountain View Park on North 127. According to Park Director Bobby Reneau, this year is expected to be no exception, despite the ongoing progress of the 127 Bypass.

The 127 Yard Sale has been for several years the park board’s primary single largest annual fundraiser and has become well established among sale vendors and patrons.

This year as well, a few spaces are being rented inside the Farmer’s Market building at a slightly higher cost per space, $100, compared to outdoor spots that go for $60. As of Monday of this week, Reneau said most of the nine areas inside the building that are available have been rented, but a couple are left if any vendors are interested.

Also at the park this year, food will be sold by food vendors on the food court, set up on the basketball court area. As of Monday of this week, only two spaces had been rented for the sale of food thus far, according to Reneau. A total of six spaces are available at the food court at $200 each and anyone interested in selling food at the park during next week’s sale should contact the park director or call 688-4337 as soon as possible.

The 127 Sale reaches into five states, with items ranging from the size of a coin to that of a full-size vehicle that will have a bargain sticker price attached.

Even with the still poor economy and ever rising costs of gas, this year’s sale is expected to attract about the same number of travelers and bargain hunters.

Over the quarter-century of the sale, the number of vendors that set up in Clinton County along the sale route has increased in number, giving bargain hunters a wider array of items, including food, to choose from while passing through the community. Also, many local groups and organizations, as well as churches, use the 127 Sale as a means to raise money for various causes.

One popular location that also draws a lot of repeat customers over a three-day period, from Thursday through Saturday of the sale, is at Land’s Chapel United Methodist Church, located in the Aaron Community close to the Russell County line in northern Clinton County.

Although the church sells regular yard sale type items, its main attraction to most is the homemade food and desserts that are always plentiful around breakfast and lunch time.

The tourism created by the sale also cannot be overlooked, as extra money is spent on food, lodging, gas and other merchandise that isn’t directly related to the 127 Sale itself.

The U.S. 127 Sale extends to the southern tip of Michigan to the north and covers approximately 675 miles on through Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama.

The sale began in 1987 and now runs from Hudson, Michigan south to Chattanooga, Tennessee, then switches to the Lookout Mountain Parkway, continuing to Gadsden, Alabama.

The original intent of the sale was to prove the back roads have something to offer, and that the interstate system was not the only mode of travel.

Many counties and cities throughout the sale route also put together other promotional attractions for the out-of-town bargain seekers to enjoy, as well as enticing many to stay awhile while there.

The Fentress County Chamber of Commerce in Jamestown, Tennessee has served as headquarters for the 127 Corridor Sale since 1995 and also claims the origin of the event. Mike Walker, the county executive in Fentress County in 1987, came up with the idea of the sale, worked hard to make it happen, and planned for it to be an annual event.

Along with the activities surrounding the sale it also brings the dangers associated with much heavier traffic volume, especially in areas where vendor locations are set up.

Some areas are not equipped to handle a large amount of parking space, meaning several vehicles may be parked in dangerous locations along the roadway.

To add to this year’s congestion may be the ongoing construction, between Albany and the Tennessee state line, of the bypass that includes some detours already meant to slow down traffic.

Motorists, especially in the aforementioned areas, are urged to slow down next weekend and be alert for pedestrians and vehicles making sudden stops.