"It is a busy weekend," said Ellen Archer, executive director for the Cartersville-Bartow County Convention & Visitors Bureau, which in particular is promoting the Dixie Highway 90-mile Yard Sale that will occur Friday through Sunday. "One of the things that I think is surprising to some folks is when you've got a busy weekend sometimes they really do cross promote each other and I'll give you a perfect example. We had a telephone call from a lady from South Carolina who responded to an ad about the Dixie Highway Yard Sale in Southern Living last year.
"She and her husband started out in Chattanooga, spent one night in Chattanooga, went south [and] spent the other night in Cartersville. [They] got up the next morning, started doing the Cartersville leg of the tour, discovered The Georgia Barbecue Classic, went to The Georgia Barbecue Classic, had a wonderful time and went back and spent another night at the Hampton Inn. She called this year to make sure that everything was going to be just like it was last year because they had such a wonderful time."
According to the Cartersville-Bartow County's CVB website, www.notatlanta.org, Saturday will offer the most events, including the Tom Clayton Memorial Car Cruize, Etowah Indian Mounds State Historic Site's Day of Discovery, Miss/Ms. Cartersville Pageant, AIDS Alliance of Northwest Georgia's Kitchen & Outdoor Living Tour, Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter's Georgia Barbecue Classic, the Dixie Highway 90-mile Yard Sale and the American Legion Auxiliary Yard Sale, the last three of which start on Friday. The Kitchen & Outdoor Living Tour and the Dixie Highway 90-mile Yard Sale wrap up on Sunday.
With the Dixie yard sale alone expected to draw thousands of shoppers per day to Bartow, Archer also is excited about the potential increase in tourism revenue for the county. On average, each leisure or day visitor in Georgia spends $47 per day and each overnight visitor spends $109, which includes expenses such as lodging, meals, gas and tourist sites.
"They complement," Archer said, referring to the full slate of upcoming events. "It's synergy. People may have come for the car show then they found out about the Barbecue Classic or they found out about the yard sale. So as much as people try not to plan events [to] not to step on other people's toes ... sometimes it really does work. I think this weekend, they're all complementary events."
For some organizations like the AIDS Alliance of Northwest Georgia and the Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter, the events are serving to raise awareness and money for their nonprofits.
"[At The Georgia Barbecue Classic], we'll be talking about [how] the monies will go toward the shelter and because of the way the economy is now we are getting more [shelter guests] every day," said Margie Shannon Telfair, Good Neighbor's executive director. "People need to be aware about the high cost of housing, the high costs of health care and various things, the lack of jobs. We want people to be consciously aware of what's going on in our community."