Demopolis joins long yard sale

Published 6:52 pm Friday, April 6, 2012

Demopolis will be part of what is being called the World’s Widest Yard Sale from May 31 through June 2.

The event is being promoted heavily by the head of the newly-created Rural Development Office, Ron Sparks, and will span U.S. Highway 80.

“It’s going to be all along Highway 80. They’re really supporting it through the Black Belt,” Demopolis Mayor Mike Grayson said of the event, which has also garnered significant support from Alabama Governor Robert Bentley. “They are encouraging all the communities along Highway 80 to sponsor this. Certainly we want to participate because we want to support Ron Sparks. Demopolis is a key component because, after you get through Selma, we are the last outpost until the Mississippi line.”

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The event figures to be much like it sounds as private citizens are being encouraged to sell their goods at preselected locations in various communities along U.S. Hwy 80.

“The governor, Ron Sparks, our mayor and the chamber are urging people to put out their yard sale goods,” Demopolis Chamber of Commerce Director Jenn Tate said. “The Gallion Baptist Church is going to be an area where people can set up. We want people to be safe, first and foremost. Another area will be the front parking area in Vowell’s.”

The design of the initiative is to draw people into communities in the rural portions of Alabama in an effort to provide some measure of stimulus to local economies.

“The whole thing is to promote tourism,” Tate said.

“Once people get into our city, we hope that they’ll eat at our restaurants and stay in our hotels.”

Individuals looking to participate in the event are encouraged to abide by all local regulations and obtain any and all proper permits should they intend to sell food items.

“If somebody is wanting to cook or do something like that, make sure in advance that you have your permit to do so,” Tate said. “This is a yard sale. We’re not encouraging the sale and cooking of foods. It’s a time for people to come out, sell whatever you want to sell. Just make sure that we keep it healthy. Preferably, we want to keep this yard sale items. Truly, we want people to eat in our restaurants.”

Tate indicated that more information regarding the event will be available next week after she and Grayson attend a press session in Montgomery Monday.

“After Monday, after this meeting, people can call the Chamber and get brochures,” Tate said.