“I Drove, I Stopped, I Shopped Till I Dropped”
It all begins Aug. 2 and ends Aug. 5. The World’s Longest Yard Sale is always held the first weekend each August, provided the month has started on Thursday, or before.
This is the 31st annual event for America’s most scenic shopping mall. This year the yard sale covers 690 miles from Gadsden, Alabama to Hudson, Michigan.
The World’s Longest Yard Sale has become more than a place to shop for that special item you could not find anywhere else…it has become an annual vacation for thousands of people who flock to various parts of the yard sale.
They shop, they visit state and national parks, they camp, they stay in hotels and motels, B&Bs or cabins. They visit attractions along the way, they eat and buy gas. All of these things add tax revenue to our local economy.
This year, an estimated 25,000 to 35,000 visitors to the yard sale will spend time along the Lookout Mountain Scenic Parkway, which hosts the entire DeKalb County section of the yard sale.
It is our strategy to promote the event to get people traveling from the south to start in Gadsden, so by the time they reach us they are stopping for the night. They pay lodging, they eat, buy gas and various retail items, they swim at our hotels or parks and throughout the process they share their dollars made elsewhere with us here in DeKalb.
DeKalb Tourism receives more requests for information pertaining to the WLYS than any other event held in our county each year.
Every day, all year long, we get phone calls and internet inquires from people nationwide and from all over the world requesting information. In addition to the requests for information coming directly to us through our marketing, we are linked to the official WLYS website and get many requests for information via that source.
Our portion of the yard sale is very, very popular due to our total travel experience. People wanting to make this a scenic getaway love our area. The DeKalb County portion of the yard sales runs across Lookout Mountain (Scenic) Parkway.
The Lookout Mountain Parkway has received national recognition in National Geographic Traveler and Reader’s Digest Magazines as one of America’s best scenic byways. We have Little River Canyon National Preserve, DeSoto State Park and falls, the city of Fort Payne and Mentone as places to visit; tourists can spend the night and eat without getting far from the parkway. Many tourists tell us they enjoy our area the most because we offer great value. Our prices for accommodations and food are under the national average, and we are an easy drive for more than 11 million people living within a 200-mile radius of DeKalb County. DeKalb County offers a great mix of attractions and things to do along the way.
If you have not participated in this event, I encourage you to get out and enjoy yourself. You will find food vendors, restaurants and portable toilets along the way all to help make your search for treasures more comfortable.
John Dersham is president and CEO of DeKalb Tourism.