Commuters along U.S. Highway 90 can expect to see a lot of vendors along the roadway from Pensacola from Live Oak on the second weekend of September during ‘Flea Across Florida.’ Local business owners are expecting Santa RosaCounty to be well represented during Florida’s longest yard sale.
Kim Macarthy, owner of the Copper Possum Antique Mall in Milton, is preparing by publicizing the event at her business and online. Like previous ‘Flea’ events, Macarthy has invited vendors to set up near the business in a tree shaded area.
“We are going to have a good turnout,” she said. “There will be a lot of old stuff, newer stuff, vintage stuff and everything else in between.”
One vendor has already rented several spaces near the Copper Possum to sell a thousand fishing rods, Macarthy said.
In addition to seeing continuing growth in attendance, Macarthy believes the two day event will continue to economically benefit the north end of Santa RosaCounty.
“A lot of people come and spend the night here or in Pensacola and shop their way back (to Live Oak),” she said. “You put people in hotels and they have to eat along the route, they buy gas and they certainly shop in our stores.”
Donna Tucker, president and CEO of the Santa Rosa County Chamber of Commerce, agrees with Macarthy. Tucker said this event could entice visitors to not only keep visiting Santa RosaCounty, but potentially consider becoming a resident.
“This definitely brings people to our area,” Tucker said. “They get exposed and hopefully brings people back.”
While the Copper Possum is expected to be a shopping hot spot in the Milton area, Pace is also expected to see a lot of activity during the two-day event.
Although Alyssa’s Antique Depot in Pace is technically not located along U.S. Highway 90, but on close by on Chumuckla Highway, the popular business is expected to see a lot of traffic from the event.
Owner Alyssa Schepper said the business will have a two-day outdoor market and a ‘5 & Dime’ weekend in conjunction with ‘Flea’ occasion.
The weekend affair is expected to be the second busiest time of the year for Alyssa’s behind the holiday shopping season, Schepper said.
Around 40 vendors are expected to have booths outside both near the antique depot and the neighboring field.
Although it is advertised to begin at 8 a.m., it typically will not prevent others from being there well in advance, Schepper said.
“(People) will usually come and sit in the parking lot waiting for the vendors to get set up, hoping to get the best deal,” she said.
While there is typically a good turnout for shopping on ‘Flea’ Friday, the bigger crowds are out on the following Saturday, Macarthy said. Many are unable to shop on Friday, due to work.
She also shared some advice for those looking to shop on over the ‘Flea Across Florida’ event.
“The best thing to do is to have any specific expectation, go with an open mind and have a good time,” Macarthy said.
She also suggests shopper expecting to spend the entire day visiting multiple vendors to keep hydrated, even bring a cooler with drinks and water.
“Then just have fun with what you can find, because you don’t know what will be out there,” she said.
The First Presbyterian Church, located on Elmira Street, is also having a rummage sale at the church from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on both days of the event. The rummage sale will benefit church building repairs, according to an event organizer. Those interested in donating items are asked to call Jean Mourey at 619-7335.