A popular stop for many Highway 127 Yard Sale shoppers is Clarkrange’s Cumberland Mountain General Store and Rock-A-Billy Diner.
Visitors from across the nation and the world have visited the 100-year-old general store. Owner Todd Evans said visitors from Australia, Finland, Japan, and South America have routinely visited his store in the past.
“I mean for the most part we get a lot of good repeat customers for us as well as all of our vendors just because they know they can come here, they can stay, they can shop for a full two weeks, and they can find the things that they want here that they can’t anywhere else,” Evans said.
Evans said the Highway 127 Yard Sale provides over 50 percent of the general store’s annual revenue. Not only is this event important for the general store, but also for the local and state economy. He said last year 80 percent of tax revenue for the county came from the months of July and August.
Originally the yard sale was for parents to sell wares to afford school clothes and supplies for their children. Now, it’s grown into a 690 mile long shopping event that stretches from Michigan to Alabama. Evans said this event provides so much for local vendors.
“What I mean by ‘vendors,’ these aren’t businesses, these are people that they work during the week and they have antique shops on the side or malls or booths or something like that,” Evans said. “They’ll take their vacation to come here. Some will come to shop, and some come to set up and to sell. It’s not making extra money, it’s [just] making money is part of their living.”
Since thousands of people visit for this event, Evans said he’s worried too many complaints from residents will cause the 127 Yard Sale to skip Clarkrange.
“Unfortunately in our county there’s not a lot of industry so people have to go out of the county to go to work…and fighting the traffic during those days [while the yard sale is going on] is really hard for a lot of people.”
Evans said he hopes people realize it’s not just about traffic inconveniences or other stores that financially gain from this event, but it’s about having international and national visitors who visit the Upper Cumberland for the first time.