Selma, Black Belt part of World’s Widest Yard Sale

Published 11:28 pm Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Residents have 350 miles to find jewels and junk as the world’s widest yard sale runs through Selma at the end of this month. Scheduled for May 31-June 2, the sale will spread along U.S. Highway 80 beginning in Phenix City near Georgia, and move westward, hitting Selma and surrounding areas, towards Mississippi.

Recently announced by Alabama Rural Development Office director Ron Sparks, Sparks said the endeavor is a way to showcase what the Black Belt has to offer.

“It’s an entertaining way to showcase this region of Alabama in a positive light, share our cultural heritage and generate revenues for all the communities along Highway 80 and beyond,” Sparks said in a released statement. “We hope this event will attract the attention of national media.”

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Sparks said it’s expected that thousands will participate as vendors.

“The region’s cultural heritage is as rich as its soil and the down-home cooking is even better,” Sparks said. “Over time, the event has the potential to span across America from coast to coast … and generate revenue for communities along the way.”

Selma-Dallas County Chamber of Commerce executive director Sheryl Smedley said this event is an opportunity for everyone to get involved.

“This is an opportunity for schools, churches and nonprofits and individuals to conduct fundraising for special projects and operations,” Smedley said. “People can bring in produce, farm items, food items … artisans are (also) welcome to participate; the city and county are not going to charge a fee, they just ask you get permission from property owners (to set up booths).”

Smedley said there are several vendor sites available on the route. Most vendors will begin selling around 8 a.m..

“We would like to get as many designated sites as possible,” Smedley said, encouraging those interested to call 875-7241. “We have hotels and restaurants here where most communities through the Black Belt don’t.”

The following are identified vendor sites in Dallas County: Sturdivant Hall will participate on Saturday only; BP gas station in Marion Junction; old WalMart location on Highland Avenue; Angie’s Auction, located at 4094 County Road 44 on Hwy 80 West; Songs of Selma Park, Billie’s Country Crafts, located at 5044 U.S. Hwy 80 West; Gordon Antiques, located at 720 Mabry St.; Selma Flea Market located at Hwy 80 Bypass at River Road; June Bugg’s Flea and Antique Mall; Just Look At Us Mini Mall, located at 1987 Landline Road.