Flea Mar­ket Flour­ishes Unique Items

McDonald County Press - - COUNTY - Sally Car­roll

Vickie Smith is con­stantly amazed at what items peo­ple bring to an out­door flea mar­ket — and what sells.

She and her hus­band, Dar­win, host a monthly flea mar­ket on the first week­end of ev­ery month in Good­man. They own The Hide­away Spot — RV Park, where they host the event.

Ven­dors of­ten haul in unique items.

Smith is al­ways in­ter­ested to see what peo­ple bring to sell. Some items are bizarre and Smith thinks, “I can’t be­lieve they brought that.”

Then, she’ll see a cus­tomer cart­ing it off.

“I al­ways shop my­self and have to go see what the other ven­dors have,” she said. “You never know what you’re go­ing to find. Some­times it’s a toi­let, some­times it’s a house­hold item,” she said.

“Ev­ery month there’s a whole dif­fer­ent bunch of stuff. I try to tell our ven­dors to bring dif­fer­ent things,” she said.

From guns and knives, chick­ens, ducks, dogs, to an­tiques and more, the flea mar­ket of­fers trail­ers full of items, as long as they’re le­gal and fam­ily-friendly, Smith said.

Some­times, ven­dors bring items and a con­ver­sa­tion en­sues among those present: “What do you think it is?” Smith said, laugh­ing.

With bet­ter weather on the hori­zon, Smith re­mains hope­ful that the sea­son will be full of in­ter­est­ing finds.

Freez­ing tem­per­a­tures and snowy con­di­tions pro­vided a rocky start when flea mar­ket or­ga­niz­ers kicked off the sea­son on the first week­end of April.

Ven­dors on that Sun­day did well, but the weather def­i­nitely damp­ened ef­forts on that cold Satur­day. Or­ga­niz­ers resched­uled the event for last week­end.

The idea for the flea mar­ket and swap meet got its start when the cou­ple re­al­ized they needed to get rid of a bunch of stuff them­selves. They had pur­chased the prop­erty in 2014 and launched the RV Park.

Like most peo­ple, they re­al­ized they had ac­cu­mu­lated much that needed to be elim­i­nated.

So they started the swap meet last year, which was suc­cess­ful in bring­ing to­gether cus­tomers and ven­dors. The slower-paced shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence al­lowed vis­it­ing and peo­ple men­tioned to Smith how much they en­joyed that as­pect.

“They re­ally en­joyed the ca­ma­raderie of the com­mu­nity,” Smith said. “Peo­ple have said, ‘Oh, good, it’s swap-meet week­end.’”

The Smiths have changed the name from swap meet to flea mar­ket this year be­cause some folks weren’t clear about what type of items are of­fered at a swap meet. Peo­ple seemed more fa­mil­iar with the flea mar­ket idea, she said.

The Smiths plan to build a 70-by-90-foot build­ing by sum­mer, which can ac­com­mo­date a num­ber of ven­dors for the flea mar­ket. Ven­dors can then choose to have a booth in­side the build­ing or out­side.

The cou­ple also plans to rent out the build­ing for other events.

“Then rain won’t be a fac­tor,” she said. “I pray about the weather ev­ery day be­fore each flea mar­ket week­end.”

The Smiths are in­ter­ested in build­ing com­mu­nity. They’ve asked neigh­bors what kinds of other events they would like to see, and a trac­tor-pull event is just one idea be­ing en­ter­tained.

“We have a great lo­ca­tion and plenty of room for park­ing,” Smith said.

Smith wel­comes ven­dors who will of­fer a va­ri­ety of goods, ev­ery­thing from hand­made crafts and jew­elry, fruits and veg­eta­bles, decor, an­tiques and rus­tic items to yard-sale items, an­i­mals and lum­ber.

Food is avail­able, too. Smith usu­ally plans to bring pre­pared food. Last week­end, neigh­bors en­joyed jam­bal­aya, bar­be­cue pork and pop­corn.

Up­com­ing flea mar­ket dates are:

May 5 and 6

June 2 and 3

July 7 and 8

Aug. 4 and 5

Sept. 1 and 2

Oct. 6 and 7

Nov. 3 and 4 Ven­dors pay $20 to par­tic­i­pate for the week­end.

The swap meet is lo­cated at 2759 High­way 59, one mile south of Good­man, at the in­ter­sec­tion of High­way 49 and 59.

For ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion and to re­serve a space, call 417-592-0745.

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