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When Gloria Edmundson saw an old, green metal fan sitting on a table Friday morning, it grabbed her attention. It also reminded her of the one she had growing up as a child.
“My mother would sit it on a table with lemonade and have it blowing on us,” Edmundson said.
After walking past the fan five times at the Wilson County Fairgrounds during Friday’s 301 Endless Yard Sale, she made a decision.
“I had to have it,” she said. “It reminded me of the olden days.”
Edmundson was one of thousands looking for a good find along a 100-mile stretch of U.S. 301. The sixth annual event will run through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Booths are set up in Halifax, Nash, Wilson, Johnston and Harnett counties. Many bargain-hunters — organizers say up to 15,000 — spend a day or two driving from town to town looking for treasures.
Amanda Beaman and Donna Boykin said it was their first time attending the massive event. But they couldn’t wait to get started.
“I’ve heard people talk about it, and it seemed like a lot of fun,” Beaman said.
Folks can expect as many as 1,000 vendors selling numerous items, including antiques, collectibles, dishes, glassware, furniture, crafts, kitchenware, holiday decorations and clothes.
Carolyn Dail spotted a small wooden cabinet on Friday. It was perfect for her granddaughter who is collecting tea sets, she said.
Dail said she was also building a sunroom and art studio at her home.
“I’m finding unique pieces to put in there,” she said.
Sites along the route include the Tobacco Farm Life Museum in Kenly, TWM Antiques in Selma and Riverside Mill in Weldon. Families, churches, businesses and schools set up their own yard sales as well.
The 100-mile yard sale earned a nod from the Southeast Tourism Society as one of its top 20 events in the Southeast for the month of June.
Wilson vendors include the Wilson County Fairgrounds, Truely Unique, the Elm City Resale Market and the Newman family in Lucama.
The 301 Endless Yard Sale originally started in Johnston County and branched out both north and south. The event is patterned after the popular 127 Longest Sale, also known as the World’s Longest Yard Sale, and was inspired by HGTV’s “Flea Market Flip.”