The 127 Yard Sale kicked off Thursday as merchants began hawking their wares along 690 miles – from Michigan to Alabama – along U.S. Route 127 in what is the largest yard sale in the world.

The 127 Yard Sale, which runs from Aug. 1 to Aug. 4, started in the late 1980s and has been going strong ever since. The idea was the brainchild of leaders in Fentress County, Tenn., where the headquarters for the event is situated.

Residents from Addison, Mich., to Gadsden, Ala., “clean out their closets and stake out their front yards” along Highway 127 for the annual event, according to the yard sale’s official website.

“They band together as communities, in groups or as individuals and over a four-day weekend they welcome the onslaught of visitors from the North, South East and West. It is a mutual exchange of cultures with a common goal; to look, buy and sale!” said 127 Yard Sale participant Dennis Keim of Huntsville, Ala. “As you transverse the country roads, you will hear a collection of dialects, be privy to incredible stories related to the individuals and the items they sale and see a plethora of items that only your grandmother could love. Most importantly, I think most come to see the unusual and socialize. It is Americana at its best."

The yard sale features some unconventional items, including a golden camel that Tennessee vendor and Fentress County JudgeTodd Burnett abruptly decided wouldn’t be for sale.

"We got really lucky this year and bought a big gold camel to put out front," Burnett told WBIR.  "Someone offered us $800 for it and we almost sold him earlier in the week, but decided we just couldn't part with him."

Joel Katte, an elementary school principle in Kentucky, posted a photo of himself on Twitter at the yard sale wearing a wrestling belt and holing a lamp.

"127 Yard Sale! Valuing differences is a must for synergy! One man's junk is another's treasure," Katte wrote.

Yard sale vendors range from homeowners along the highway to business parking lots to those who set up shop “in wide open fields and pastures” on Highway 127, according to the website. There is no admission fee.

The site offers the following tips for first-timers of the 127 Yard Sale, and cautions yard sale goers to stay cool, especially in the southern portion of the route:

“Be very cautious of other vehicles. You will often find yourself looking off on the sides of the road at the yard sales and before you know it the vehicle in front of you has come to a stop. Be alert. Watch for pedestrians. Drink plenty of fluids. It is usually very warm in the Deep South and all the walking and activities can drain you before you know it. Don't succumb to a heat stroke or dehydration. Wear Sunscreen! The sun can roast you even on a cloudy day. No one likes to be burnt to a crisp at the end of the day. Protect yourself from the elements.”