To the editor:
It’s the end of an era. The Flea Market will be no more after Oct. 1.
For most people it brings up a picture of tables full of junk. They, obviously, are not patrons of the flea market.
Here in Kelowna, we have a unique flea market which runs all year round, located at the Rutland Centennial Hall. The vendors get up before 5 a.m. on Sunday morning to bring their wares to this location.
Early in the morning, when it is still dark and cold, they set up their tables, check each others’ products, some order breakfast from the concession inside the hall.
Some of the people prefer to set up inside the hall, but there are the die-hards who prefer to be outside. They are a close-knit bunch. They enjoy each other’s jokes and help the ones who need help.
The early birds (buyers) show their face before 8 a.m. Some people are looking for specific cheap household items for their student children who are moving out on their own. Some are just looking to find that specific treasure, some find the unexpected items that like them so much, they cannot go home without it.
And in the summer the Mexican fruit pickers pick up stuff to bring home to their children or to entertain themselves.
Not all people coming to the flea market come to buy. For many people the flea market is a place to socialize, they come to visit, they come to talk socialize. They find people who will listen. They find encouragement, sympathy and camaraderie.
It fulfils the need of many people, many different ways.
To top it off, the flea market provides a service to the community. Many items are recycled which otherwise would end up in the landfill.
It is also the biggest tourist attraction. Many visitors from Europe visit and enjoy old-fashioned bartering.
Todd Sanderson (president of the Rutland Park Society) and the City of Kelowna have a different agenda. Will it put Rutland on the map? I wonder.
Editors’ Note: See related stories: Centennial Park Upgrade Gets Shot Down, Aug. 19 Capital News and Park Society Wants Second Chance at Centennial Park Vote, Aug. 22 Capital News.