By Adam Ganucheau
TUPELO – Bargain buyers from across the area are flocking to the Tupelo Flea Market this weekend as it celebrates its 25th anniversary at the Tupelo Furniture Market.
The Tupelo Gigantic Flea Market and Craft Show is running until Sunday, and it is one of the largest in its history.
“This one is very important to us,” Flea Market Director Melissa Kelly said. “We are expecting a really successful weekend.”
Kelly said that V.M. Cleveland, owner of the Tupelo Furniture Market, was responsible for bringing the event to the furniture market 25 years ago and helping achieve its popularity.
Celia Fleishhacker, a Tupelo resident who has been a vendor at the flea market all 25 years, reflected on her time at the event and the event’s history.
“I can’t believe it’s been this long,” she said. “I remember setting up at the flea market before it even moved to (the Tupelo Furniture Market). In the ’70s, it was at the fairgrounds. Then it moved to the old Ramada and then to the Trace Park. It has been wonderful here at the furniture market.”
Over 500 vendors have set up shop and will sell a wide variety of items, from clothing to pets to furniture. Many vendors have different stories and reasons for being in Tupelo.
Bob Brooks, a vendor from Selmer, Tenn., has made his lifelong hobby of welding novelty items into a means of income during his retirement.
“This is the first time I’ve been to Tupelo, but I hope it will be successful,” he said. “It’s one of my very first flea markets to come to, but it seems like it will be great.”
Kelly says one of the biggest attractions this weekend will be the door prizes, which include a $100 gas card and a shopping spree. Attractions like a mechanical bull and bouncy houses for children will also be available.
The event will run from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. today, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. There is a one-dollar admission for anyone above the age of six. This year, the flea market is being held once a month and twice in November.