By Woodrow Polston
The Flea Market held at the Vandalia Area Fairgrounds had plenty of vendors and patrons for its last weekend of the year. It all started in June with only a few organizers and vendors and has continued to grow on a bi-weekly basis over the course of the summer months. Organizer Patricia Kraft said that there are already vendors requesting to be on the list for next year.
“Some of our vendors are asking to be on the list for next spring,” said Kraft. “We are planning to open back up in April. I think it has gone very well for the first year. Creating awareness and growing our number of vendors and patrons is what has amazed me. We started out the year with only half a dozen vendors or so, and this weekend we have had 15 vendors present for the flea market. We have had a lot of first-time vendors who have never sold their products like this before, so it has been fun to watch them grow and expand their business opportunities,” she added.
With a variety of different products available, vendors have provided patrons with a good selection of items to choose from. One of the vendors who did well this year, was Sara Freie, who operates “The Kissing Cow LLC.”
“We have definitely done very well here this year,” said Freie. “Being out here for the flea market has really given a spotlight to our business here in Vandalia and the surrounding areas. We are looking forward to coming back next year and we hope that the flea market continues to grow with more and more vendors each season,” she added.
Other vendors such as Amy Heaston, who operates “The Meal Mobile” food truck, also agreed that they are looking forward to another year beginning next April. Kraft said that they kept the vendor fee at the same price all year long. “We charged $25 a day, or $40 for the weekend. We found that Fridays have been slow all year long. So, we are considering a possible schedule change for next year. I have a survey that I worked up for our vendors to give feedback on what they would like to see different next year. One thing that we have already agreed on is looking into getting some kind of playground equipment for the little kids who are here while their parents are working as vendors. We may also be further down the fairgrounds next year, and we are hoping to be able to utilize the pavilion for garage sale vendors. We are also looking forward to having more food vendors on site next year,” said Kraft.