“As soon as the Christmas season, the holidays, the new year is sort of put to bed, we begin getting those calls [about the yard sale],” said Regina Wheeler, deputy director for the Cartersville-Bartow County Convention & Visitors Bureau. “There have been years that we’ve even gotten them before the holiday season as people, I guess, are planning their new year and what they want to go and do and visit. [We receive] calls from vendors from across the Southeast. So people [and] dealers come out for this particular event. So it’s definitely grown in popularity.
“I will say that we have various avenues of marketing this event through a website as well as Facebook and social media. People just love a yard sale. So social media has really been a big plus for us this year. ... [Our intern] was doing some social media work for us and she noticed that one of her posts on the Dixie Highway Facebook page had basically had a share ratio of 7,000 views ... and we had 300 new fans to our page over the weekend. So it’s growing leaps and bounds every day leading up to the sale. So we’re very excited for this year.”
On June 6 to 8, the sale will highlight more than 10 communities, including Ringgold, Tunnel Hill, Rocky Face, Dalton, Resaca, Calhoun, Adairsville, Cassville, Cartersville, Emerson, Acworth and Kennesaw. While times may vary, the sales typically occur from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
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.
With an increased number of people exploring Bartow’s towns during the sale, Cartersville-Bartow County CVB Executive Director Ellen Archer said the event helps introduce visitors to smaller communities along the route.
“We have definitely seen that has definitely been the case,” Archer said. “We’ve gotten a lot of calls about it already this year. There has been a lot of interest. ... It’s kind of taken on a life of its own now. We know that we get hotel room nights out of it.
“We know that people do make it through Emerson, do make it through Cassville and do go into downtown Adairsville. It’s just the nostalgic nature of it that makes people want to ramble. It really does. Like I said, it has taken on a life of its own now, which is wonderful. I think that’s what you want every tourism development project to do and it’s done that.”
In Bartow County, yard sales will be set up on Old Highway 41 in Adairsville and will run southbound on U.S. Highway 41 through Cassville. Afterward, the route will follow Ga. Highway 293/Cassville Road to downtown Cartersville and then Tennessee Street or Highway 293 south to Emerson.
“We always have changes. It seems like every year there’s new things and new changes. So while in our community it may not affect people ... we are reminding folks because of the LakePoint construction and rerouting of Georgia 293 that we’re kind of encouraging folks you may want to do Marietta, do Acworth but then pick back up in Emerson because the reroute of Georgia 293 is going to put a kink into our Dixie Highway travelers this year,” Wheeler said, referring to traveling on U.S. Highway 41 through Acworth and Emerson.
To obtain more information about the yard sale or advertise one’s sale, visit www.olddixiehighwayyardsale.com or the event’s Facebook page, facebook.com/DixieHighway90MileYardSale.