VAN WERT, Ohio (WFFT) - Yard sale, garage sale, whatever you call it, it usually means deals.
The U.S. 127 yard sale began as an idea in Tennessee in 1987, as a way to help small towns who were economically impacted by the construction of highways bypassing their town.
Now people from all over the world travel through Van Wert, trying to find hidden treasures.
Larry Lee, Executive Director of the Van Wert Convention & Visitors Bureau said, "We’ve talked to people who have come from Europe, England and Germany. We’ve also had some people from Australia who come over, rent a car, travel the route, pack up things, and ship them home."
Joe Martinez lives along U.S. 127 in Van Wert, he says the downside for the town is the traffic.
"You can see the frustration on people’s faces in the cars and people, with kids, running back and forth. A little unsafe," Martinez said.
Lee said of the traffic problem, "Fortunately we’ve never had an accident or anything unfortunate happen."
The upside? People are spending their dollars at local businesses.
There are vendors who travel to the fairgrounds who hope to turn their old metal signs into hundreds. Craig Smith traveled from Central Florida.
"Well, we’re selling a little bit of all-americana. We have a little bit of new mixed with a little bit of old. We do a little bit of whole-saling, we do a little bit of retailing and we’re just hoping that we get a decent enough crowd, a polite enough crowd that we can leave a little bit of what we got behind."
And the yard sale gives locals like Martinez a chance to turn snakeskin boots into a few bucks.
Martinez said, "It’s a chance for us to get rid of stuff that just sits around the house and make a little bit of money for vacations or whatever we want to spend the money on."
The U.S. 127 yard sale is helping cities, helping families, and they could help you turn one man's junk into your treasure.
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