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Florence delays annual flea market

By WILLIAM PAINE

william.paine@southwesttimes.com

The Pulaski County Flea Market, which was scheduled to take place this coming weekend, has officially been rescheduled to take place the following weekend, Saturday, Sept. 22, and Sunday, Sept. 23. The Dublin Lions Club sponsors two of these flea markets each year at the New River Valley Fairgrounds.

“We tried to hold off and see what Florence was going to do but it became apparent that the risk wasn’t worth it,” said Lions Club Treasurer Andy Hullender. “Either way you do it, you’re going to see an extremely reduced crowd. We anticipate five or six thousand people would have come out, even if there was a hurricane because we know there are certain people committed to come out to these things no matter what.”

Normally, the Pulaski County Flea Market will take place rain or shine but Florence made things different this year.

“Many people who work the event are school children and we didn’t feel comfortable for them to be out in that venue,” Hullender explained. “You have 40 to 50 miles per hour winds and you can have objects being picked up and thrown. A roof panel could come off a building. It’s not like it’s out in the field where no one’s at.”

Vendors were another consideration for postponing this weekend’s flea market. Many of the vendors come from areas that could well be more heavily impacted by the hurricane than Pulaski County. The rescheduled flea market will likely see fewer vendors because of scheduling conflicts.

“I’m anticipating that a third of our vendors won’t be able to make it,” said Hullender. “We should have 450 to 500 vendors instead of the normal 600 to 700, but that’s just a guess at this point. Most vendors have been very positive about the change. Even the ones that can’t make it were positive about the schedule change. It’s hard to sell something when you have to put a brick on it to hold it down!”

According to Hullender, the Pulaski County Flea Markets normally draw between 16,000 and 20,000 visitors to the fairgrounds. Because of rescheduling, it’s estimated that this year’s Pulaski County Flea market will draw somewhere between six and eight thousand visitors, weather permitting.

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