By Mason Haynes
Last weekend was warm and beautiful for the annual Giant Flea Market, held every year in May, and local citizens and travelers alike were welcome to the special event.
Thousands of vehicles pulled into the lot of the fairgrounds as concession stands were selling funnel cakes, pizza and soft drinks to incoming customers. Flea market vendors were widespread throughout the fairgrounds campus, drawing in large amounts of visitors. The Giant Flea Market also attracted locals who regularly participate in local flea markets past and present.
Gary Lemons is a Greenbrier County local who has attended the Giant Flea Market for five straight years and says he has a passion for flea markets.
“I meet a lot of people and talk to new strangers I have never met before,” Lemons said. “It also gives you a lot of spending money and it’s a hobby which gives you something to do when you are not busy.”
Visitors often come to the Giant Flea Market to find specific items which catch their interest. Christina Green was one of many who joined the Giant Flea Market. She said clothing and house decorations were a primary interest to her.
“It’s like a family-friendly place to come to,” Green said. “It also gives me motivation with the nice weather to sell or do away with items I do not need, such as clothes I dislike. Hopefully, I sell enough to get a beautiful red chair I saw at one of the tables earlier.”
While many other vendors sell their own products, others hand-craft their own items from wood, that reflect the state’s history and beauty. Travis Long is a West Virginia native who has a strong passion for his home state. He has created various state signs using different forms of artwork. Some of his wooden West Virginia symbols have a patriotic feel to them, while others just show his love and passion for the state.
“I’m a crafter and I do this part-time. I also have a friend that lives here locally so I like to spend some time with him,” Long said. “My daughter saw a wooden Kentucky sign one day, and I got the idea that I should make something of my own that was West Virginia.”
The Giant Flea Market will likely take place at the West Virginia State Fairgrounds again in the Summer of 2018.
(Photo by Mason Haynes)
Volumes of traffic hurdle into last weekend’s flea market
(Photo by Mason Haynes)
Travis Long displays his carved state signs for the one state he truly loves which is West Virginia