The World's Longest Yard Sale takes place for four days in early August every year along a stretch of US Route 127 from Alabama to Michigan, a distance of more than 650 miles. Known also as the “127 Corridor Sale,” or simply the “127 Sale,” it has its own website and a host of official items, such as yard signs, vendor aprons and folding tables. Headquartered in Jamestown, Tenn., the World's Longest Yard Sale was started in 1987 as a way to reintroduce America to its back roads and small towns.
Yard sales &emdash; also called garage, tag, attic, household, moving, junk or rummage sales &emdash; are very popular in the United States. Typically, a family will put up for sale household items, from clothing and furniture to appliances and electronics, that are still serviceable but that they no longer want or need. Generally, they set everything out on their front lawn or in the driveway, most commonly on one or both weekend days. Prices are often negotiable, and a great deal of bargaining typically occurs at yard sales. Families will post advertising signs throughout the neighborhood and on nearby thoroughfares and place classified ads in print and online media, and then sit by their goods and wait for the traffic to come.
Yard sales are conducted for different reasons, such as clearing out space in the home, raising extra money, or as a way to interact with others and perhaps make some new friends. The World's Longest Yard Sale was established along a part of Route 127 in Tennessee that had lost a great deal of traffic to the nearby interstate highways 75 and 40. Its organizers wanted to lure Americans off the interstates and back to back-roads America, and counted on the popularity of yard sales to give travelers incentive to take the detour.
Just as conducting a yard sale is very popular, visiting and shopping at yard sales is likewise enormously popular. In the southeast United States, participants and shoppers alike in the World's Longest Yard Sale clear the calendar for the four-day period starting with the first Thursday in August. Antique dealers and collectors of every stripe visit the sale, as do passersby and members of the local communities. As with the World's Longest Yard Sale, other neighborhood-wide and even town-wide yard sales have become well-established traditions in many places, and residents and visitors plan their schedules around these events. I
The World's Longest Yard Sale, like other similarly organized group yard sales, has expanded beyond individuals selling household items. Independent vendors commonly petition for inclusion, necessitating rules and organization. When independent vendors become involved, the range of items available generally expands significantly, and organizers will also reach out for vendors to sell food and beverages. In addition to the usual collection of household goods, shoppers at the World's Longest Yard Sale can count on farm-fresh produce, arts and crafts items, and plenty of old-fashioned country cooking.
Although many states do not regulate or tax yard sales, some jurisdictions require that vendors of food and beverages be licensed and inspected for sanitation and hygiene practices, and some will also require that those conducting yard sales purchase a permit. The operators of the World's Longest Yard Sale offer complete information about the permits required to operate at any point in the sale.