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Vintage Market Days a success

September 26, 2018
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

One thing you can say about the people who attended Vintage Market Days at the Lee Civic Center this weekend; they didn't leave empty-handed.

Thousands attended the three-day event, with many vendors selling out much of their inventory, even on the first day when a huge wave came for the opening few hours.

"We had a few vendors sell a more than they usually do. We had about 600 people through the door in the first hour and a little over 1,000 overall," said Meri Stupes, who owns the franchise with her husband.

Article Photos

Country band Buckin’ Wild performs at Vintage Market Days at the Lee Civic Center on Friday.


Things tapered off throughout the day, but things were expected to get jumping again for the weekend. When all was said and done, Stupes said she expected about 5,000 visitors to come.

Ada Byalick, of Vintage Market & Salvage Co. out of Fort Lauderdale, had a large inventory of furniture that was upcycled and refurbished.

"This is the first time we've been in town since this is the closest show. We do six of these shows every year, all over the country," Byalick said. "These shows help us reach new clients. We give items new life."

It wasn't just antiques. Many people were selling seasoning mixes and candy, such as Wendy Sorrell from Miami who has her company Wendy's Chocolates & Gift Baskets.

"For the first 10 years I did a show every weekend, then I took 10 years off. Now, I'm getting back into it and doing three shows a month," Sorrell said. "Business has been great. I was pleasantly surprised what the door count was. I thought it would be slower, but it's not."

"I think it's really amazing. It's cool they finally have something going on in this town this time of year," said Cynthia Volt of Fort Myers. "I haven't bought anything yet. We look first before we buy. I am buying two window things."

"I got a ton of stuff. It's been great. I was looking for a lot of farmhouse, homemade things," said Nicole Reitler of Cape Coral. "It's nice to see these things a little bit."

Many of the booths already had a Halloween or fall motif, and it was all displayed well so the event had a holiday feel to it.

Stupes said the attraction for many is the uniqueness of everything on sale. This isn't a tag sale or a flea market.

"People like to see the upcycled and recycled, vintage, antique, they remake things made from something else," Stupes said.



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