"We did decide to make some changes, basically due to cards dealt to us by Mother Nature, of course, with all the tornadoes and frankly the increased interest in the sale," said Regina Wheeler, deputy director for the Cartersville-Bartow County Convention & Visitors Bureau. "It continues to grow every year in terms of the number of phone calls and people interested in participating and visiting. So what we decided to do was to simplify things somewhat from the administrative side of it, if you will. In years' past, each of the CVBs along the route would register yard sales and sell the yard sale signs and then would promote those on our website, [www.DixieHighway.org].
"This year, just to take that administrative responsibility away and frankly to allow residents to do this free of charge, we decided to have residents have the ability to go online and register their yard sales independently. There is no cost to do that. It's a very simple form. [It] just takes a matter of minutes. It's very easy to do. Then we also give places where they can purchase signs if they choose to have an official sign. You don't actually have to have one. In Bartow County -- One Day Sign has them [for] $7."
Spanning from Ringgold to Kennesaw on June 3 to 5, the sale will highlight 12 communities: Ringgold, Tunnel Hill, Rocky Face, Dalton, Resaca, Calhoun, Adairsville, Cassville, Cartersville, Emerson, Acworth and Kennesaw.
A precursor to Interstate 75, the Dixie Highway was envisioned by Carl Fisher in 1912 to transport northerners to the South in the winter. After being built between 1915 and 1927, the popular route attracted local vendors, who sold items such as fruit and chenille bedspreads to travelers from Michigan to Florida.
The yard sale started in 2006 to celebrate the road's revitalization after the Georgia legislature designated the Dixie Highway as a historic driving route. The Georgia Dixie Highway Association promoted the project through the purchase and installation of 126 roadway signs.
"The original idea [was] to get people to browse and discover [towns along the route]," said Ellen Archer, executive director for the local CVB. "Right now it's probably maybe even an opportunity for citizens to pick up a few dollars that they might not have had if there wasn't that added attention to their community -- having people come in. I think probably in the last couple of years, it's been very well received, that's for certain. People certainly enjoyed [it]."
In referencing the event's range of yard sale items, Archer mentioned finding Ferris wheel seats in Emerson last year that she longed to purchase.
"One thing that was most amazing to me last year -- I wanted it so badly -- [was] these beautiful, old, ornate Ferris wheel seats that I found in Emerson. I got to thinking, 'OK, so what am I going to do with this?' But it was great. I loved it.
"That certainly was a unique item. You see a little [bit of] everything from junk to really nice antiques. ... a couple of years ago [I] participated as a seller myself. I sold plants and various other things, and it was [a lot of fun]."
In Bartow County, yard sales will be set up on Main Street in Adairsville and will run southbound through Cassville. Afterward, the route will follow Georgia Highway 293/Cassville Road to downtown Cartersville and then Tennessee Street or Highway 293 south to Emerson.
To obtain more information about the yard sale or renting a space, call the local CVB at 770-387-1357 or visit www.DixieHighway.org.