'Antique Alley' to bring visitors to U.S. 11 corridor

Preparations were underway as early as Monday for the U.S. 11 Antique Alley event, officially beginning Thursday and continuing through Sunday. The 502-mile yard sale route begins in Meridian, Mississippi and continues to Bristol, Virginia, passing through DeKalb County along the way.

It’s early yet, but signs of what’s to come later this week were developing as early as Monday along U.S. 11 in the Hammondville area.

Thursday marks the official start of the U.S. 11 Antique Alley yard sale event – a 502-mile trail of roadside vendors with collectibles, antiques, arts and crafts and more for sale from Meridian, Mississippi to Bristol, Virginia.

The event started in 1997, and it’s been known to attract 30,000 visitors on the weekend after Mother’s Day.

DeKalb Tourism Executive Director John Dersham said Antique Alley isn’t the largest yard sale event that runs through DeKalb County (the World’s Longest Yard Sale in August is bigger) but all of the nationally promoted multi-state yard sale events make significant contributions to the local economy.

“We try to get people who ‘ll spend the night,’ Dersham said, of the ideal treasure hunters he’d like to see come to DeKalb County. DeKalb County businesses are happy to provide lodgings, meals, gas, and more for people who come to treasure-hunt along the yard sale route.

The path of the yard sale runs along U.S. 11 through five states. It and similar events serve to bring travelers off the interstates, through smaller town and cities. Those towns and communi-ties along the way participated to varying degrees.

The Town of Hammondville was welcoming vendors, renting spots around town hall for $25 a day ($75 for Thursday-Sunday). Vendors were invited to rent space and come in on Wednesday, then to leave on Sunday taking everything they brought with them, including their trash.

Town leaders offered clean public restrooms as the baseball field and at the park.

“It’s always a good event,” Dersham said of the sale. It’s promoted out of Merdian, Mississippi, he said, and for a time didn’t have the best promotion through its website. And them COVID-19 derailed the event for a couple of years.

“People still came out and set up,” Dersham said, because they didn’t realize the official event had been cancelled.

During yard sale days, motorists should be aware of increased traffic in the area and be cau-tious.

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