In Aug. 6 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Reporter
The annual U.S. 127 Yard Sale is officially underway and runs through through Sunday, which means a big weekend for bargain hunters along Russell County's busiest highway.
Local Ralph Morgan has set up shop in the same location for two decades, at the junction of Lakeway Drive and U.S. 127, and says he anticipates a big year this year after high gas prices caused sales to slump last year.
"I'd say we'll have a big week," he said. "I'm going to have close to 50 vendors setting up in here this time," he said of his spaced off lots.
Last year Morgan said only 38 vendors set up in the same location.
"I've already had two call this week wanting to set up," he said. "I told them to come on."
Morgan said he takes pride in the annual sale and sets up his items weeks in advance.
"I have a lot of fun and meet a lot of people," he said. "I've met people from all over the world."
He said the vendors that had already set up had a big weekend this past weekend, which was before the official start of the sale.
Morgan, who has also been in the auction business for 23 years, said the "World's Longest Yard Sale" has become a family tradition and is greeted with much anticipation each year.
"It looks like all of the motels are filling up," he said.
Morgan said some of the vendors at his lot are from as far away as Indiana, Ohio and Tennessee, proving that the sale is truly "one of a kind."
Barry Burton, of Russell County, is one of several local vendors set up in Morgan's lot. Burton said he has only failed to set up three times in the big sale's existence.
Burton said he also owns a salvage yard in the county, which helps him accumulate many of his "for sale" items.
He did say that good antiques are getting hard to come by at the various yard sales because of many people holding on to their treasures for longer times.
This year marks the 22nd year the sale has been held. The total distance now stretches over 650 miles and five states from Defiance, Ohio, near the Michigan border, through Kentucky, Tennessee and part of Georgia to Gadsden, Ala., directly through Russell Springs, Jamestown and the Lake Cumberland area.
The section of the road that runs through the Lake Cumberland area is roughly the midpoint of the sale and with the lake and other recreational opportunities along the way, Russell County is a must-stop location for many prospective buyers.
Thousands of people participate in the sale each year as vendors and the people traveling through the areas give a boost to the local economy as people visit local businesses and restaurants.
With the big sale, traffic problems are commonplace, but organizers say the positive outweigh the negative as local economies thrive due to the visitors.
The four-day super sale always begins on the first Thursday in August, making August 6-9 the official weekend of this year's sale.
The original intent of the sale was to prove the back roads still have something to offer, and that the interstate system was not the only mode for travel, according to organizers.
For more information regarding the annual U.S. 127 Corridor Sale, visit the official Web site at www.127sale.com