Commonwealth Journal

August 2, 2012

The 690-mile 127 Yard Sale beckons all

World’s longest such event is now underway

by Bill Mardis
Commonwealth Journal

Somerset —  

It’s amazing! it’s fascinating! Can your imagine 690 miles of “treasures?” The 127 Yardsale is local, it’s statewide, it’s nationwide, and with a growing international interest.
The 127 Yardsale, celebrating its 25th anniversary, is now underway and will continue through Sunday. The event, dubbed “The World’s Longest Yard Sale,” stretches from five miles north of Addison, Michigan, south through Kentucky and to Gadsden, Alabama.
U.S. Highway 127 enters Kentucky from Tennessee near Albany. The road passes across Lake Cumberland's Wolf Creek Dam and continues northward through Central Kentucky, passing through Danville and Frankfort, and crosses the Ohio River at Covington.
U.S. 127 closest to Pulaski County is through Russell Springs and Jamestown. There are yard sales and yard sales and yards sales, anyway you look, north or south; clusters of yard sales. Traffic sometimes slows to a crawl, especially in towns and subdivisions near population centers.
That’s what it’s all about: Traffic. Mike Walker, now an attorney in Nashville and a former county executive of Fentress County, Tenn., in 1986 got with other county executives and judge-executives along U.S. 127 and got the yard sales started.
“It wasn’t so much for the yard sales, but to attract people away from interstates and show them the assets of small towns,” said Leann Smith, tourist director for the sponsoring Fentress County (Tenn.) Chamber of Commerce.
  “Hundreds of thousands of folks join us each year for this fun-filled event, spanning 690 miles and six states,” said Smith. “It's impossible to keep track of how many shoppers and vendors we have, but it's grown to be the biggest and best event of its kind in the world.” 
And, if you tire of walking and shopping, there is the 17th Annual Jamestown Jamboree, sponsored by the headquarters city, Jamestown, Tenn. In addition to music, there is a car show by the Push Rods Car Club and South Fork Cruisers  Car Club.
The jamboree begins at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Jamesown Community Center Park and continues into the night. Admission is free.