Neither rain nor COVID-19 could stop Watertown’s annual Fall Mile Long Yard Sale on Saturday.
Hundreds traveled to the city’s historic district in search of bargains on everything from antiques to power tools. Shops opened at 7 a.m., and attendees took advantage of that to get ahead of the rainfall.
“We had 30 to 40 vendors that canceled out, but the ones I talked to were very pleased that the rain didn’t cause too much of a delay,” yard sale coordinator Jim Amero said. “It was well worth it for the shops that were open.”
Amero had originally lined up roughly 100 vendors for the sale from in and out of state. Having fewer of them in town helped facilitate social distancing, and attendees were asked to wear masks.
Stacy Williamson, the co-owner of Sterling’s Fine Jewelry from Bowling Green, Kentucky, said that made it a more comfortable show to attend and helped him get back to business.
“In a typical year we’ll do around 20-30 events like this, but COVID-19 has really slowed things down,” he said. “This is our first time at this event. We’re excited to be here, and in spite of the weather it’s been very nice.”
Longtime local sellers like the women’s missionary group from First Baptist Church Watertown also attended. The group offered sausage biscuits and home décor to raise money for a variety of charitable efforts.
“We take the money and try to be helpful and support other missions,” church member Brenda Allison said. “And if we see a need in the community we want to do what we can to help.”
That money goes toward efforts like sponsoring children in need, funding a local pastor’s mission work in Colorado and helping the Baptist Collegiate Ministries feed students at Cumberland University.
The church also contributes to large-scale mission work through donations to the Children’s Shoebox Ministry, Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and Annie Armstrong Easter Offering.
“There probably haven’t been as many people here as in the past, but we’ve had a steady flow,” Allison said. “It means a lot to us to be here and have that support, because it contributes to our fund and our way of helping the community.”
Dale Burns, the co-owner of Bloomin’ Dale’s Flowers and Gifts in Lebanon, said she enjoys being able to get more involved in the community through the yard sale. Her shop specializes in cemetery arrangements and some seasonal items.
“We came out years ago and ended up not doing it for a while,” she said. “It’s nice to get out, meet and greet and socialize a bit.”
Some of the people the vendors were able to meet came into town by train, while others traveled from around the Nashville area because of the event’s high profile. Amero, who also runs Jim’s Antiques on Main Street, said the ones he met were enthusiastic about the sale.
“They were all prepared to shop safely,” he said. “I had a sign on my door that you needed a mask to come in, and only about three people turned around and said they wouldn’t wear one. I think we had a great day overall, and I’d say to people who’ve never been out here before that they should come and see what Watertown looks like on a normal Saturday.”