Today is Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Watertown yard sale blooms for two miles Saturday

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The event, which will rock from daybreak until late afternoon, swells the community of 1,400 to 10,000 or more before the last shopper drops. Dozens of vendors from Memphis to Knoxville will operate booths as will others from Ohio, Kentucky, Georgia. North Carolina, Illinois and Alabama. 

Returning for their seventh year, McMinnville vendor Carole Ashford and her husband will be set up across the street from Hunter Funeral Home where they will offer baby items, antiques and lawnmowers, among other items.

“I sell things to make money, but I really like the atmosphere and the people. I like to talk to the people on the train from Nashville,” said Ashford, referring to the excursion train which will deposit between 400 and 600 riders in town for four hours Saturday.

“It’s a challenge,” said Amero, who spends a couple of hundred hours in coordinating the event for the Watertown/East Wilson County Chamber of Commerce. “I field phone calls all year long, but I’m able to sit back and relax come 7 o’clock Saturday morning, and we’re standing tall for the people shopping. I enjoy placing the vendors in their locations, which will benefit them and the shoppers.

“The real reward comes from visitors who tell me, ‘How beautiful your city is.’ Everybody takes pride in getting ready for this thing, especially along Main Street. It’s like a big reunion,” he said.

This edition of the yard sale will feature an old-fashioned photo booth in front of Kim’s Barber Shop on the Square, while other sites just off of Main, including the agricultural pavilion and the old feed store, will hold a dozen-plus vendors.

Of course, everything under the sun from sunglasses and rocking chairs to jewelry, fishing equipment and birdhouses will be up for grabs in the gigantic yard sale. 

All Watertown restaurants will be open, while food vendors will tempt taste buds to such treats as cinnamon rolls, doughnuts, ice cream, hamburger, hot dogs, barbecue, nachos, roasted corn, popcorn, kettle corn, Italian ice and lemonade. Watertown’s Stardust Drive-In concession trailer also will be in operation beside the tracks where the train unloads its passengers.

This marks the seventh yard sale after which OPTIX will accept donations of items left over, so they can hold their own yard sale at a later date. OPTIX is a teen center, whose official name is Optics That Party Place and Chilling Spot for Cool Teens

“We get a lot of eyeglasses, which we send to the Lions Club, and clothes, which we take to help centers at local churches,” said OPTIX Founder Lenore Davis of Watertown. “We will sell some of the donated items in my yard, which the kids will sell for OPTIX. Later, we will take more items to Goodwill.”

The grandmother of three teenagers, Davis operates the center in a building at 9639 Sparta Pike, across from Jewel’s Market. She organizes about two Saturday night parties a month, aimed toward 12-to-15-year-olds, where they play games, hold karaoke contests and dance to G-rated music videos. The events have drawn up to 90 teens.

Feature Writer Ken Beck may be contacted at

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