It is that time again for the World’s Longest Yard Sale. Now completing its third decade (32th year) the World’s Longest Yard Sale (WLYS) has become one of the largest attractors of visitors each year to every community along its 700-plus mile route from Gadsden Alabama to Hudson Michigan. People from all over the world come to the WLYS.
Every year HG TV does a story on the WLYS and now a few other syndicated TV shows have done episodes on the WLYS. All of the television attention increases curiosity and lures people from further and further away to the sale. In recent years, here at DeKalb Tourism our WLYS and Lookout Mountain Parkway brochures have become among our most requested pieces. In our case, the portion of the WLYS that runs through DeKalb County happens to be ( in my opinion) the most scenic portion with the most public lands and quaint mountain villages on its route.
Do to this fact, we promote the event, not only as a shopping experience but also as a vacation to see our many attractions along the way. We promote Fort Payne as a great place to stop overnight to refresh and revitalize in a beautiful town with some quality hotels, restaurants and leisure activities nearby. We also have many people that choose our area to camp, rent a cabin or B&B and enjoy the great outdoors on top of Lookout Mountain.
Almost everyone wants to include our quaint mountain village of Mentone in their yard sale tour plans. They also like to stop and look at our DeSoto State Park and visit the waterfalls and take the Little River Canyon rim road drive for a secondary trip along the way. School starts just after the yard sales ends, so those families with school age kids can still get out there and pick up some really cool items at the WLYS.
In our area, this is the last big hoorah before school begins in most Alabama towns. Thank goodness our local schools have chosen to wait until after the World’s Longest Yard Sale is over to begin. A few years ago school began during the yard sale and bus routes on the mountain had to struggle to get their pick up and deliveries done.
We will have our usual 25,000 to 40,000 vehicles passing through our area over the four-day event. It is our goal to get as many of them as possible to stay overnight in our area, eat, shop and spread the financial joy in our county. Oops, I am getting too excited about this. Calm down, John.
— John Dersham is president and CEO of DeKalb Tourism.