How the new backdrop to Hamilton’s flea market underlines growth in the city

A high-profile construction site and a bustling flea market shared some of Hamilton’s riverfront Saturday, both symbolizing what the community is working to make: A reborn downtown district.

The city’s monthly Hamilton Flea Market attracted hundreds to the new Marcum Park on the shores of the Great Miami River.

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Directly across Dayton Street, the upscale Marcum Apartments are taking shape, and when they open later this summer the residences will house hundreds at the downtown location that is called a key part of this Butler County city’s revitalization.

“The Hamilton of old will never be what it was with all the past industry but what the city is doing right now in terms of re-doing this area – and the Marcum Apartments across the street – and other parts of town is promising,” said city resident Tom Metcalfe as he paused from enjoying the flea market festivities.

When the six-acre park was opened last year - at the downtown site of the former Mercy Hospital – city officials said it would not only be a fun place to play, relax and listen to music, but also a spark for economic development near the urban center.

“There is still a long way to go but it’s very good what they have done so far,” said Metcalfe.

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The flea market, which also included more than a dozen food truck vendors, games for children and the park’s watery entertainment encouraging kids to splash about, is open the second Saturday of each month through September from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

It’s the second year for the market at the new park, and the location is growing more popular with each weekend, said Lauren Smallwood, co-founder of the Hamilton Flea.

“Marcum Park in downtown Hamilton is a hidden gem,” said Smallwood.

“We are so excited for the Hamilton Flea to be here. People can linger around, the atmosphere is great and families can come and stay at the splash pad with their kids and everyone has a chance to kind of cool off on a hot summer day,” she said.

For more information on the Hamilton Flea check out its Facebook page.

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