That’s the kind of reception organizers have come to expect out of the annual Tree Streets Yard Sale and Fundraiser, which will occur this year on Saturday, Sept. 7. Early sales will begin on Friday, Sept. 6.
Doug Buda, who has lived in the neighborhood for 15 years and handles public relations for the Southside Neighborhood Organization, said the event, which is in its 30th year, started when a handful of neighbors realized they could have more success if they consolidated their individual yard sales into one event.
“They had a very good outcome,” Buda said. “And that kind of was the genesis of the whole thing, and it’s been going strong ever since.”
For the most part, Buda said the yard sale draws people from Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, but organizers have also seen license plates from Ohio and Georgia.
“On that weekend, it’s probably the biggest yard sale between Knoxville and Roanoke,” Buda said.
Shoppers typically show up at around 7:30 a.m., and the sale is in full swing by 8 a.m. before wrapping up at around 3 p.m. or 4 p.m.
In the past, available items have included baked goods, clothes, toys, books, albums, lawn mowers, bicycles, tools and electronics.
Karyn Cross, the president of the Southside Neighborhood Organization, said the neighborhood takes on a festival-like atmosphere during the yard sale.
“From my perspective, it’s kind of a neighborhood party,” Cross said. “Even if you’re not selling something, you’re out, you’re walking around, you’re talking to neighbors.”
The sale, the neighborhood organization said in a press release, has also acted a fundraising opportunity for local churches, charities and student groups. Past participants have included PEO Higher Education for Women, St. Mary’s School Trips and Youth Group and the Science Hill Showstoppers.
“We’re just tickled to death that not only is it a great event in our neighborhood and the community, but nonprofits throughout the community and region look to it as a source of revenue,” Buda said.
The Tree Streets neighborhood is in the southern portion of Johnson City bordered by University Parkway, West Walnut Street and South Roan Street.
Cross, who moved to Johnson City from Kingsport and has lived in the Tree Streets neighborhood for about three years, said the event is popular among neighborhood residents. Walking down the street, she said it seems like every other house in the neighborhood has a yard full of goods available for sale.
“Halloween here is an event,” Cross said, “but the yard sale ... there’s just people everywhere.”