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Bargains abound at world's longest garage sale

Stored under In the News on September 11, 2006 at 12:02 PM
MOUNT VERNON -- Carla Lowe of Mount Vernon, and her mother, Trudy McClintock of Shelby, are veteran flea marketers and yard salers. But seasoned as they are, they had never seen the likes of their first Highway 127 Corridor Sale, also known as The World’s Longest Yard Sale.

This year’s event was the 19th annual, held Aug. 3 to 6. The 450-mile-long sale begins in Covington, Ky., follows Highway 127 south to Chattanooga, Tenn., then switches to the Lookout Mountain Parkway, crosses the northwest corner of Georgia and ends in Gadsden, Ala., after changing highways a few more times.

The Fentress County Chamber of Commerce in Jamestown, Tenn., is the event’s headquarters and lays claim to originating the sale in 1987 when its county executive came up with the idea. According to chamber literature, he wanted to prove that the area’s back roads have much to offer visitors and that the interstate highway system is not the only means of travel available.

Residents who live along the highways participate but vendors come from far and wide to set up in parks and open lots. Shoppers arrive from all over the country, and from other countries, as well.

"We drove 1,100 miles," said Lowe. "But we never got stuck in traffic jams. Highway 127 is four-lane and most people parked on the side of the road and walked."

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