For bargain hunters, it's the Super Bowl, the World Series and the Olympics all rolled into one. For the 25th year, Watertown will play host to the annual Spring Mile-Long Yard Sale on Saturday, and it's shaping up to be quite an event.
Twice a year, in spring and fall, shoppers descend on Watertown by car and train load from all directions. Lured by bargains on just about everything, the yard sale offers something for everyone, even if it's just a day of people watching.
Jim Amero, owner of Jim's Antiques on the Watertown Square, coordinates the event each year since he inherited the mantle of yard sale guru from other Watertownians.
"I opened my mouth six years ago, and I've been doing it ever since," he said. "It began as a way to get people into town."
As always, the weather on the big day is an issue, but this year, Amero thinks everything should be just about perfect.
"It looks to be about 65 degrees on Saturday," he said, adding vendors who have to set up in the wee hours might get a bit chilly. But the day looks to be ideal for hardcore shopping. "I've gotten phone calls about the sale from people in Alabama to Indiana."
Amero is also wary shoppers might be sidetracked by people having yard sales along Highway 70 and never make it to the big event.
"I suggest everyone come here first, because our vendors will be out very early," he said. "Of the two yard sales each year, the spring one is usually the best."
He estimates at least 100 paid vendors will set up booths Saturday all over Watertown, concentrating on the town square. Usually, shoppers can find just about anything – clothes, deer heads, boats, guns, ammo, knives of every description, appliances, electronic bug zappers, Samurai swords and more are sure to be for sale.
"If you can't find it here, you're not looking hard enough," Amero said.
He said shoppers will be able to keep their strength up by partaking of the many food vendors who will be on and around the Watertown Town Square.
Money raised at the yard sale is split between the homeowners and the Watertown Chamber of Commerce, but the real goal is to introduce the best little city in Wilson County to people who venture in for the sale. Amero is warning shoppers to come prepared to shop all day.
"Bring a big truck, lots of cash and walking shoes," he said. "And come back on another day when it's not yard sale day just to enjoy Watertown."