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See old friends and do good deeds at the 2018 Tree Streets Yard Sale and Fundraiser

Hannah Swayze • Aug 28, 2018 at 7:43 PM

When: Saturday, Sept. 8, beginning around 8 a.m. Early sales will also begin Friday morning, Sept. 7. 

Where: In the yards and homes of the residents of the South Side neighborhood, or, the Tree Streets located inside University Parkway, West Walnut Street and South Roan Street in the southern section of Johnson City.

Who: The Tree Streets Yard Sale and Fundraiser is organized by the South Side Neighborhood Organization.

What to expect: Expect a lot of people. With an average of about 150 vendors every year, people come out in swarms to the neighborhood yard sale that is promoted from Johnson City to Knoxville to Roanoke, Va. 15,000 shoppers have been estimated to attend in one weekend. 

Despite the vast advertisement, the sale is still a community event. Those who frequent events in the neighborhood or Johnson City will see some familiar faces. 

Doug Buda, of the South Side Neighborhood Organization, said events in the neighborhood are community oriented. 

“You can’t move into that neighborhood without getting to know new friends and neighbors,” said Buda.

History: In 29 years, the yard sale has grown from just a handful of neighbors to hundreds of participants. What used to be small and for the neighborhood now brings people out from other cities to hunt for good deals. 

“This is one of the most highly anticipated yard sale in the region,” Buda said.

Food: Those who plan on spending their morning haggling don’t need to worry about working up an appetite. Interspersed between furniture, clothes and knick knacks are those who also sell food.  

On yard sale morning it’s possible to find a nice item on one table and a delicious mid-morning snack at the next. 

“You won’t have a hard time finding food,” Buda said. 

Some sellers will fire up the grill and sell hot dogs and hamburgers while others put out the freshly baked good for purchase. 

Buda also mentioned that since the yard sale has grown, he has seen the occasional food truck make an appearance. Plus, there are restaurants on West Walnut Street nearby that will be open. 

Do some good: The sale also has a large fundraising aspect to it. Many community groups, churches, clubs and non-profit organizations have been setting up to raise money for years. 

Those groups include: PEO Higher Education for Women, St. Mary’s School trips and youth group, Science Hill Showstoppers, Compassionate Friends of Tennessee Valley, HIV Network, Unicoi County Animal Shelter, psychology graduate students and Faith Miracle Sanctuary Xian Worship.

Not to mention, the donations taken to help the South Side Neighborhood Organization fund the rest of its activities throughout the year, like the backyard garden tour and the Music in the Park series. 

A percentage of the funds raised by the organization will be donated to One Acre Cafe. 

The day after: Those who shopped their hearts out on Sept. 8 can relax on Sept. 9 with the organization’s Music in the Park. Jazz band, The Diamonds, will play a free concert in Veterans Park in front of South Side School from 3-5 p.m.

More information: To learn more about the organization or events happening in the Tree Streets, visit www.tree-streets.com. 

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