One of my favorite events of the year is this weekend. It’s basically a local shopper’s paradise. The Old Town Flea Market is set for May 7th and 8th at the Clovis Rodeo Grounds, and I’m telling you, it shouldn’t be missed!
The Old Town Flea was founded in 2013 as an extension of The Foundry (aka my favorite store in the known universe). Much like The Foundry itself, the Flea is a mix of vintage finds and local artisans selling repurposed goods and unique handmade creations.
Whether you’re just hearing about this and you’ll be a first-time attendee, or you’re a Flea veteran, here’s some basics, tips and vendors to look out for this year!
The Old Town Flea Market runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday the 7th and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday the 8th. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased ahead of time at The Foundry or at the event. BUT (and this is a big one, so pay attention), you can grab an Early Bird ticket for $10 and be granted exclusive access to the flea from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Saturday.
If you’re a serious shopper, you should highly consider this option. I did this last year, and I was shocked by the speed with which items were claimed and purchased. We hadn’t made it beyond a few booths, around 8:15 a.m., and there were already “SOLD” tags on furniture everywhere. It’s a little less intense with the artisans and handmade goods, but still, getting there first is a good idea if you want the best selection of everything. This leads us to…
- Get there early! Don’t be surprised when you see a line well before 8 a.m.! But you should be OK with getting there right when gates open at 8 a.m.
- Wear the right shoes! You will be doing a lot of walking. It looks like it might also rain on Friday night, so things could get a bit muddy.
- Bring the right vehicle. If you’re like me and plan on bringing home no furniture, then this doesn’t really matter. But if you’re looking to buy bigger vintage or upcycled pieces, make sure you drive a truck or SUV! Parking is free at the rodeo grounds. Once you’ve paid for something, one of the strapping young men employed by Old Town Flea will transport your piece to a holding area. When you’re ready to leave, you can pull your vehicle right up to the gate of the holding area.
- Bring some (or a lot of) cash. Many vendors will take credit cards (thanks Square!) but it’s smart to have some cash on hand just in case!
- Ask for business cards. This was super helpful to me last year. Most of the vendors sell their goods through Etsy shops and at-home businesses all year long. And after discovering them all last November, I have used them through Christmas and birthdays to supply me with gifts.
- Friendly reminder: Sunday is, in fact Mother’s Day. Taking your mom to Old Town Flea on Sunday might actually be a fun way to celebrate the holiday. Or you can go Saturday and find that perfect, special gift for your mother. Speaking of which…
My top booths to look out for? They’ll probably be familiar to you because I’ve written about them before. At the top of my list is probably Anchor & Soul Crafts. The do those pretty wood signs with funny and inspirational sayings that are so popular these days, but custom and handmade. They make great decor or gifts, and they are shockingly inexpensive!
Another is Make Pie Not War. Owner Alana Little’s custom stamped jewelry is so special because you can say whatever you want with them. But her unique ready-made pieces are also to die for. I love everything from her hammered hoop earrings to her pizza necklaces!
And you can put those new necklaces, rings and bracelets in a hand-painted jewelry dish from The Painted Press! All of their work is gorgeous, but specifically they will have dishes that say “Mom” on them for Mother’s Day!
If you want to go a little more luxe, you have to stop by Iron+Copper+Bronze for their individually crafted leather bags. (Did you hear they made special totes for the entire cast and crew of “Batman Vs. Superman?!) Their bags are so unique that there will only be two of these gray ones made from one leather hide at Old Town Flea this weekend.
Those are the things I think you must know before attending this weekend’s event. I can honestly say that The Old Town Flea Market is one of the things that has changed how I shop and gift forever. Come out with me and meet the amazing local men and women who are creating fantastic stuff in the Valley! You won’t regret it!