Clothes hang along a line near the Plain Truth Holiness Church on Water Avenue Saturday morning.  The church held a yard sale over the weekend as part of the World’s Widest Yard Sale.  Another participant in the event was the Sturdivant Hall Gift Shop. -- Sarah Cook
Clothes hang along a line near the Plain Truth Holiness Church on Water Avenue Saturday morning. The church held a yard sale over the weekend as part of the World’s Widest Yard Sale. Another participant in the event was the Sturdivant Hall Gift Shop. -- Sarah Cook

Groups cash in with annual Widest Yard Sale

Published 10:51pm Monday, June 3, 2013

Tables filled with clothes and other odds and ends lined U.S. Highway 80 over the weekend, as Alabama hosted its second annual World’s Widest Yard Sale. From Phenix City, all the way though the Black Belt, to the Mississippi state line, residents and visitors mingled through hundreds of yard sales — all looking for a great bargain. 

Downtown Selma — not located on U.S. Highway 80, was not left out of the mix.

Driving down Water Avenue, and through the historic district, many residents could be seen buying unique new and used items. Members of Plain Truth Holiness Church on Water Avenue set up several tables outside on the church lawn to raise money for a retreat.

“We’ve had a surprisingly good turnout, there’s been a lot of people walking up and buying things,” church member Nicole Love said. “It’s been a lot of fun sitting out here and watching people stop by.”

At Sturdivant Hall, shoppers surrounded tables filled with books, movies, seasonal decorations, baskets, jewelry and a variety of other items.

Patty Debardeleben, manager of the Sturdivant Hall Gift Shop, said she, along with other board members, had been working for several weeks preparing for the World’s Widest Yard Sale.

“We’ve been steadily working on it for the past three weeks categorizing all the items,” Debardeleben said. “All the money raised will benefit Sturdivant Hall.”

Beginning early Saturday, Debardeleben said there was a steady crowd of buyers coming in and out of their sale.

“People have seemed happy about the pricing on the items,” she said. “We have a little bit of everything here. A lot of residents and board members donated items for the yard sale.”

And while Debardeleben said there was no fixed goal for the money raised from the yard sale, she anticipated the final amount to be high, considering the amount of visitors.

“We’re just happy to receive whatever we get because that’s more than we had before,” she said.

In a previous interview with the Times-Journal, Sheryl Smedley, executive director of the Selma-Dallas County Chamber of Commerce said the annual yard sale was created to increase tourism throughout Alabama.

“I think it brings in outsiders that have never been to Selma — especially those people who never stopped along the way and they actually get the chance to see some of the genuine hospitality that we have here.”

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