There's a 30-Mile-Long Yard Sale Happening in Tennessee This Labor Day Weekend

We like those odds.

Benton County, Tennessee doesn’t get a ton of action on the tourist scene.

Seated as a halfway point between Nashville and Memphis, it’s not near enough to either to truly siphon attention away from the Music City or the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll. Nestled near Kentucky Lake, it gets plenty of attention from weekenders on the water, whether for fishing or for engaging in a little redneck yacht clubbing, but is not so heavily trafficked as to be a burden on the locals. As such, sleepy little hamlets like Camden, Big Sandy, and Holladay sit some miles off the beaten path.

Except for Labor Day weekend, when Highway 69A turns into the Bargain Highway.

The Bargain Highway, otherwise known as the 30-Mile Yard Sale, brings out-of-towners from all corners of the United States into Benton County, selling out hotels, campgrounds, cabins, and rentals all around the area for the weekend. Business booms for local restaurants, and several food trucks set up along the highway to keep shoppers well-fed and on the path for deals.

And the deals run the gamut. If you want it, you can find it along the Bargain Highway, from antiques and collectibles to your standard yard sale fare—kids clothes, household items, and toys. The opportunity for a great bargain is here all weekend—and maybe even earlier, as some sales get going on Thursday to entice early-arrivers onto the scene. Some families pool their goods and set up shop along the route together to maximize their visibility and customer base. Church congregations set up shop all along the way, and many use the event as an opportunity to raise money for important community causes; one such stop on the Bargain Highway this year is donating all proceeds to FYI Clinic, a Camden-based non-profit medical clinic specializing in early pregnancy diagnosis.

For a community unused to scores of crowds for most events, the Bargain Highway represents a significant change from business as usual. But it also brings an economic boon to the community, reportedly bringing more than $100,000 into the Benton County community just for the weekend. The Bargain Highway was impacted by pandemic, as much person-to-person commerce was interrupted during the period, but a February interview with Benton County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lorie Matlock indicated it has recovered nicely in the ensuing years.

Travelers down the Bargain Highway aren’t just on the lookout for great deals—select 30-Mile Yard Sale vendors double as sites where you can register for the $1,000 Give-A-Way. The winner will be announced on the Benton County Chamber of Commerce Facebook page on September 8 at 11 am.

Traveling out of Nashville, interested bargain-hunters should traverse down I-40 and get off at Exit 126. Head north on Highway 641 (which also will have yard sales—the continued expansion of the event has broadened it outward from its Highway 69A origins)—into Camden and follow the signs for 69A to enter the heart of the Bargain Highway. For more information, visit the Bargain Highway Facebook Page.

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Colby Wilson is a Thrillist contributor.