Tribune-Courier General Manager
This weekend shoppers from across the country will converge on Kentucky looking for a bargain during the 400-Mile Yard Sale.
Organizers of the event say Marshall County residents living along the route have jumped on the concept of the sale since it first began in 2003 like no others across the state.
In 2012, shoppers rated Marshall County as their favorite location across the route, citing the number of sales and variety of merchandise in Sharpe, Palma, Draffenville, Briensburg and Aurora.
Last year the same communities tied with the Campbellsville and Lebanon area in central Kentucky for the number of shoppers rating the area number one.
Debby Spencer of We Make Things Happen Corporation in Bowling Green, which started the sale over a decade ago as a way to get people off interstate highways and into small communities across the state, said the event has increasingly helped to boost the economy in communities along the route each year.
“The success of the event has been amazing,” said Spencer. “What better way to get visitors into our communities than with yard sales?”
Spencer said the Sharpe community stands above all others for participation across the state of Kentucky.
“For as small a town as Sharpe is, it is amazing how many people participate with sales. We constantly hear Sharpe, Sharpe, Sharpe from our visitors along the route.”
Spencer said shoppers from as far away as California, South Dakota, Minnesota and Alaska will be here for the four-day event this year.
“They come from everywhere. We even have three buses of shoppers this year coming from Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Iowa who have left room on their buses for all the treasures they plan to buy,” she said.
Spencer said Belews and The Hitching post in Aurora have become favorite stops along Hwy. 68 for yard sale shoppers to grab a bite to eat.
“The fudge at the Hitching Post always gets rave reviews,” said Spencer.
Marshall County Tourism Director Randy Newcomb said restaurants and lodging facilities feel a boost in sales from the event.
“The yard sale brings thousands of people through our area during that four-day period that normally wouldn’t come,” he said. “Those people sometimes have to stay the night, they have to eat and they also stop at our local shops. Those things add up to what they contribute while they are here,” said Newcomb.
“We actually have a bus of people coming in from Iowa this year,” he said. “People come to this yard sale from all over and it brings about a very positive economic impact.”
Now in its 11th year, the sale begins this Thursday and continues through Sunday along U.S. Hwy. 68 beginning in Reidland in western Kentucky and extending all the way to Maysville in the north eastern portion of the state.
For information on specific sales along the 400-Mile Sale route or to list your sale, visit www.400milesale.com.