ASHLAND – The fifth annual Silver Street Flea Market is scheduled for this Sunday, and thousands are expected to come to downtown Ashland to shop for bargains ranging from brand new items to antiques.
The Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce-sponsored event will be held Sunday, Sept. 8 from noon to 5 p.m. on Silver Street between 14th and 16th streets.
Last fall, the event drew an estimated 3,000 people, said Bob Luebbe, who is organizing the event for the Chamber with his wife, Christy. They are hoping to draw a big crowd again.
“I don’t see any reason why we couldn’t be as big again this year,” he added.
Or even bigger. Since the event started in 2015, the number of vendors and shoppers has steadily grown. In the first year, there were 60 vendors and about one thousand visitors. Over the next three years, the crowd has increased by a couple of hundred shoppers each year.
Luebbe said they believe the flea market keeps growing because it is not competing with other events, including other flea markets.
“For one, there’s not a lot of conflicting activities that day,” he said.
Growth has also been realized because more and more people are finding out about the event.
“I think its actually growing just because people have realized it’s a neat event and they’re buying fun things,” said Luebbe.
Those fun things include antiques, vintage goods, white elephant items, clothes, food, pottery, jewelry, crafts, essential oils, car parts, clothing, furniture, art, dishes and collectibles, just to name a few.
“There’s going to be a real nice variety,” said Luebbe.
There’s something for everyone, based on past flea markets.
“You see a lot of people walking out of the flea market carrying things,” Luebbe said.
Along with shoppers, the vendors keep coming back year after year, according to Luebbe, because they do quite a bit of business at the flea market.
As of last Friday, nearly all of the 80 spaces had been rented, and Luebbe expected it to be a sell-out before the Sunday.
“We’re ahead of where we were last year,” he added.
In fact, Luebbe predicts the final tally of vendors will surpass 2018.
“I think we’re going to end up do doing a little better than last year,” he said.
If the event keeps growing, so will the space necessary to hold it.
“Maybe next year, if it keeps getting bigger, we’ll have to go three blocks,” Luebbe said.
Another factor that has contributed to the success of the Silver Street Flea Market is the weather. Conditions were ideal for the first four years, 70 degrees and sunny. Luebbe is hoping the trend continues.
“We have our fingers crossed that we have great weather again,” he said.
Even if the weather is less than ideal, the show will go on, rain or shine.
Luebbe advised people come early, when the inventory is the best, but also he suggests they stick around as long as they can to get in on the end-of-day deals.
No matter when you come, bargains can definitely be found.
“People love to get a good deal,” said Luebbe.