Watertown’s Annual Fall Mile Long Yard Sale is bringing antiques, collectibles, food and more to the city square starting at 7 a.m. on Saturday.
The event has been a community tradition for roughly three decades and has more than 100 vendors on board this year. It also marks a return to normalcy for Watertown amid COVID-19.
“We normally do two a year in the spring and fall,” yard sale coordinator Jim Amero said. “With the virus we had to cancel the one in the spring, but we decided to go ahead with this one. We’re asking people to socially distance and recommending masks.”
Attendees are also asked to bring small change and their own hand sanitizer since the city does not have sanitizing stations set up. Amero said all the spots for this year’s event are filled, and shoppers can expect them to be set up into the late afternoon and early evening.
“People look forward to the yard sale as a tradition they can count on,” Watertown/East Wilson County Chamber of Commerce Vice President Taylor Wood said. “I do think cancelling in April was the best decision, but we knew we couldn’t go a whole year without the yard sale. It’s our claim to fame.”
Many of the yard sale’s vendors also attend every year, even ones from out of state. Watertown’s local shops and restaurants also benefit from the tourism.
“I have actually have some people from Oklahoma coming in who have family here, and another gentleman that’s been coming in from South Carolina for many years,” Amero said. “They’ll have everything from clothing and antiques to jewelry and tools, and we have several food vendors as well.”
Visitors should plan for one-way traffic, turn lane closures and overflow parking in the area. Amero recommended parking at First Baptist Church Watertown for a $5 day charge.
Wood said the city sees a significant economic boost the day of the event, and some people decide to come back when the streets are less crowded. The chamber sponsors the yard sale each year to promote that engagement.
“It’s a nice opportunity to showcase the town itself,” she said. “It gives people a chance to see what Watertown’s all about. Our hope is for people to come out on Saturday, but we also want them to revisit to see what things are like on a normal weekend here.”