09/02/2002 at 01:00 AM EDT
Imagine a shopping nirvana where five bucks buys you a model windmill that plays "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina. " Where a mere $25 makes you proud owner of an intricately embroidered lace and satin wedding dress. "Dress lasted longer than the marriage," says the seller, mother of the bride.
Welcome to the World's Longest Yard Sale, a four-day, 5.000-vendor extravaganza that stretches 450 miles from Gadsden, Ala., to Covington, Ky. Started in 1987 to drum up tourism, the sale drew an estimated 50,000 last week, some form as far away as Alaska. Their mission? Find hidden treasures—or fodder for their own garage sales.