The Hamilton Flea founder Lauren Smallwood said she is often asked if she’s surprised with how well the event has been received.
“My response is that I am not surprised, as Hamiltonians continually show their support for up-and-coming aspects of the city,” Smallwood told this news outlet. “I knew that enthusiasm would carry us far. The success of the Hamilton Flea is a direct reflection of the spirit of Hamilton. Initially, I knew the support of Hamiltonians would be there.”
The popular event returns for its third year from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month from May through and including September at Marcum Park in downtown Hamilton.
A new feature this year is a free Yoga on the Lawn from 9 to 10 a.m. prior to the start of the event, allowing yogis — and those who aspire to be yogis — to enjoy this aspect of Marcum Park, Smallwood said.
“Many of our patrons utilize the sidewalks and water features, and we, the Hamilton Flea Executive Board, wanted to draw attention to this wonderful resource that is available downtown,” she said. “Hamilton has a new yoga studio, One Love Yoga, and we hope that this can spark an interest to potentially join that business. It also furthers our hope that we are providing yet another reason for a people to stay in downtown Hamilton all day on a Saturday.”
The Hamilton Flea also is adding a free “Kid’s Market” to its June 9 event, allowing any talented young person 18 and younger to apply, Smallwood said.
“We hope to foster a safe, supportive framework in which these young entrepreneurs can gain experience (an example of this is having the young artisan practice their business skills by filling out the same style of application as our ‘typical’ vendors),” she said.
Deadline for applications for the competitive young artisans event is May 1. An application is available at www.hamiltonflea.org/kids-market-application.
“The Kid’s Market is important to us to provide a supportive system for young artisans,” Smallwood said. “Our mission includes promoting small businesses, and we felt we could expand upon that by offering this feature. We want to encourage young people, particularly in Hamilton, to become entrepreneurs.”
Hamilton previously averaged 200 vendor applications but accepted just 40 vendors per event with artisans being allowed to select which events they would like to attend.
“We always want to be accommodating to our vendors, and allow for a fresh experience for our patrons,” Smallwood said. “Part of what contributes to the vibe of the Hamilton Flea is not necessarily the number of vendors, but how they are curated. We want to maintain a modern, urban feel that aligns with the city’s revival. We are always willing to welcome more high-quality artisans into our events.”
Artisans can fill out an application via www.hamiltonflea.org/artisans. The application deadline is April 15.
Hamilton Flea will again partner with Municipal Brew Works to serve up a tailored list of four of its craft beers. It also will be collaborating with Animals Friends Humane Society, which brings along its pet-mobile with adoptable pets.
The popular monthly event also will continue to highlight a local, non-profit organization to raise awareness and allow patrons to donate, should they choose. A decision on which organization will be highlighted this season with be made “within the next couple of months,” Smallwood said.