Organizers of the inaugural US-21 yard sale say the multistate, 70-mile long event was a great success.
Dubbed, “The US-21 Road Market Sale,” tourism leaders throughout western North Carolina and Virginia say the event required months of planning and involved the cooperation of dozens of local leaders from at least eight different localities.
“The yard sale was a huge success. Putting the event on didn’t cost any money, but took a lot of work from a lot of different people,” said D.W. Miles, founder of the yard sale’s flagship organization, “Take a Break from the Interstate.”
Tourism leaders in Wythe County say they counted at least sixty-four different households participating in the road market sale, in their county alone.
“Not only did this weekend’s yard sale allow the county an opportunity to market itself to out-of-state travelers, but it also provided residents along Grayson Turnpike with a sense of community,” said Jeremy T.K. Farley, Wythe County’s interim tourism director.
Miles agreed, saying the road market event showcased historic US-21, a road that was at one time the premier route for travelers from northern states en route to the beach.
“The traffic was a non-stop, continuous flow from Wytheville to Jonesville,” said Miles, who added, “We want to make US-21 a destination. There are just so many beautiful sights and it belongs to the people — all the state parks and national forest land along the way — it’s just a special road.”
Miles said his organization intends to promote the +70-mile yard sale on the last weekend of July, every year.
This weekend, residents living along a 70-mile stretch of highway in western North Carolina and Virginia will be given a unique opportunity to participate in a multistate yard sale.
The inaugural event, which was organized by over a dozen tourism leaders from the Old Dominion and Tar Heel State, is being dubbed, “The US-21 Road Market Sale.”
Slated to take place along U.S. Route 21, beginning in Jonesville, North Carolina, and continuing as far north as Wytheville, Virginia, the event is expected to kick start a series of multistate initiatives, all aimed at promoting tourism on both sides of the border.
Organizers say the public’s response to the road market sale has been nothing short of remarkable.
Tourism leaders in Virginia say the event has the potential to bring an incredible number of additional travelers into communities along the historic route, many of which are in the throes of revitalization.
Mary Jo Babbitt, the Town of Wytheville’s tourism development coordinator, bragged on the level of cross-jurisdiction cooperation required in getting such an idea up and running.
“This event just proves that when you work together, you succeed,” said Babbitt. In total, the three-day sale, which begins Friday and lasts through Sunday, will wind through four North Carolina counties prior to reaching the Virginia state line, just south of the New River.
Once in Virginia, the road market event will pass through another four localities, reaching its end on the charming streets of downtown Wytheville.
Planners say the event is the product of the multistate program known as “Take a Break from the Interstate,” a tourism committee comprised of local leaders who desire to see more travelers explore the two states’ back roads.
Take A Break Council
P.O. Box 727
Sparta, North Carolina 28675
Take A Break Council Members
Wythe County, Virginia
Town of Wytheville, Virginia
Grayson County, Virginia
Alleghany County, North Carolina
Wilkes County, North Carolina
Town of Elkin, North Carolina
Town of Jonesville, North Carolina
Town of Harmony, North Carolina