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World's longest yard sale starts today

Buyers can travel past vendors along a 100-mile stretch of Route 21
City of Wytheville
Buyers can travel past vendors along a 100-mile stretch of Route 21

This Friday, Saturday and Sunday, people who live along a 100 mile stretch of Route 21 are bracing for a very big traffic jam. From Wytheville, Virginia to Harmony, North Carolina vendors will be standing by to sell all kinds of stuff as travelers take a break from the Interstate.

“I know people who do the entire 100 miles —load up their truck, take it home, come back and load it up again. A lot of people buy things and then plan to sell them next year," says Mary Jo Babbitt who has overseen the roadside market since it began ten years ago.

“We have people from New York bring down trucks of stuff to sell.”

Because there are few restaurants on the route, the world’s longest yard sale becomes a fundraising event.

“People bring their food trucks. Churches sell hot dogs and barbeque, brownies, cakes, and people love homemade items. Let’s face it.”

And people who live along the old highway can also make a buck by renting a space to vendors.

“People have met each other along this and have kept in touch throughout the year, and maybe they only see each other once a year. They still stay in touch," Babbitt says.

Nine towns and counties sponsor the event, organizing special sales and performances, and based on previous years they can expect an additional 9,000 cars to pass through their communities.

Sandy Hausman is Radio IQ's Charlottesville Bureau Chief