DARKE COUNTY - Quite a number of garage/yard sale vendors have already started setting up their wares along U.S. 127 in the Darke County area for The World’s Longest Yard Sale, which gets underway Thursday morning.
The sale now spans 690 miles, from five miles north of Addison, Michigan, to Gadsden, Alabama.
The sale always officially starts on the first Thursday in August through the following Sunday. Many sellers in the Clarkrange and Jamestown, Tennessee, area start selling the weekend before the official start date.
“It is aptly titled, “The Worlds Longest Yard Sale,” said a spokesperson. “Every year individuals clean out their closets and stake out their front yards along the Highway 127 corridor. They band together as communities, in groups or as individuals and over a four-day weekend they welcome the onslaught of visitors from the north, south east and west.
“It is a mutual exchange of cultures with a common goal; to look, buy and sell,” the spokesperson said. “As you drive the country roads, you will hear a collection of dialects, be privy to incredible stories related to the individuals and the items they sell and see a plethora of items that only your grandmother could love. Most importantly, I think most come to see the unusual and socialize. It is Americana at its best.”
During the yard sale, residents of the City of Greenville can have a garage/yard sale those four days without a permit, allowing for them to participate in conjunction with the World’s Longest Yard Sale/127 event. For questions, call 937-548-1819.
Residents of Castine, a village in southern Darke County along the route, are reminding shoppers to avoid that hamlet as repair work still continues within the town.
“Castine is closed to thru-traffic,” said Mary Brown of the village. “We don’t want people coming here. We’re getting 200 to 300 cars a day now and they’re driving into people’s yards and going through ‘road closed’ signs.”
The Darke County Steam Threshers property at York Woods at the intersection of U .S. 127 and Reed Road/ State Route 242, north of Greenville, will be the scene of many garage/yard sale people as well as flea markets.
Organizing the event at York Woods are Dave Gibson, Jo Stuck
In fact, television station HGTV is expected to be taping at the York Woods location on Thursday evening and all day Friday.
According to Dave Gibson and Jo Stuck of the Steam Threshers group [including Vice President Jo Stuck and Treasurer JoEllen Yost], the crew will be filming there and looking for some items in particular they are needing for an upcoming show.
HGTV sent the locals a list of unusual antiques and collectibles they are looking for while here.
Those items are: Old toys [cast iron and tin windup], old neon signs, pedal cars, coin-operated machines, motorcycle, old movie posters, early furniture, radios [transistors/tabletop], advertising items, western/equestrian gear, vending machines, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s TV merchandise, pinball machines, circus and carnival memorabilia, musical instruments, NASA memorabilia, advertising items, antique, casino; gaming equipment, taxidermy animals, old photographs, Hawaiian/tiki collectibles, oil paintings, police officer collectibles, firefighter collectibles, soda fountain dispensers, old signs, military items, antique guns, folk art, juke boxes, cast iron, pottery, bicycles, pottery, taxidermy, musical instruments, sports collectibles, duck decoys, telephones, election memorabilia, Civic War antiques, rugs, cookie jars, antique clocks, early board games, crocks, old bar equipment, gas pumps, old dolls, wood carvings and vintage diner items.
“They never told us what they are going to be filming while here,” said Gibson. “This came through Deanna York of Darke County Visitors Bureau, who contacted me a couple of months ago. The phone call came from Santa Monica, California, from Producer Julie Cooper, who said she would be doing the show.”
According to Gibson, HGTV officials were going to start in Kentucky but changed their minds when they heard about York Woods.
“Now, they coming here and then moving down toward Kentucky,” he said. “Julie used to be producer of American Pickers.”
Gibson, who is in his fourth year of organizing this event at York Woods, said Tuesday afternoon 105 spots have been sold already at York Woods with more coming.
“We have people from Florida, Indiana and Kentucky coming in,” said Gibson. “We will have food vendors, flea market-type stuff, restrooms and a shower house. Some usually camp here. People like our prices and our location.”
The cut-off date to be set up at York Woods is today, as the yard sale begins Thursday.
The Darke County Steam Threshers provides its own security on the grounds throughout the four-day event.
Penny Callahan of Florida was seen setting up some items for the sale. She and husband Clyde, who is from Indiana, do this year-round.
“That’s how we pay for our gas back and forth from Indiana to Florida,” she said.
Tammy and Vic Arnett of the Palestine area have been setting up their flea market items for the past two years.
“I like meeting people,” Arnett said. “Last year was the first time we set up.”
Arnett said they have even shopped along the 127 Corridor in the past.
“It was fun,” she said. “You never know what you’ll find.”
Law-enforcement agencies along the route undoubtedly plead with travelers to be safe in their venture this year.