Many people love getting up early to check out antique malls and garage sales. This weekend they had their biggest chance.
Despite the threat of rain, ‘Flea Across Florida’ yard sale along U.S. Highway 90 in Santa RosaCounty, was considered a success by several event organizers involved with ‘Florida’s longest yard sale.’ Milton offered numerous vendor locations, among the popular selling locations were Millie’s Antiques and Collectibles, the Copper Possum Antique Mall and the First Presbyterian Church of Milton, which had a benefit rummage sale on the weekend.
Jean Mourey, who in addition to serving as the church’s clerk of session, served as the event organizer for the rummage sale.
“We did very well,” Mourey said. “I did not hear any complaints.”
Mourey said the rummage sale, which featured a majority of items donated by church members, raised nearly $700 for church renovations and repairs.
The rummage sale was held inside one of the church’s main buildings, which provided a roof and air conditioning for shoppers, Mourey said.
Visitors were also appreciative of the church providing restrooms and an inside area for families with small children, which allowed parents to better keep track of their children in a confined area, she said.
The owners and operators of both the Copper Possum and Millie’s said the weather had little to no impact on the success of the weekend long event.
“It was actually a blessing, it kept the temperatures moderate,” said Copper Possum owner Kim Macarthy. “It was really pleasing for this time of year.”
Although the rain may have kept vendors from opening early on Saturday, Macarthy said other parts along Florida’s yard sale did not fare as well.
“There were others that had a complete down pour,” she said. “We were lucky on this end.”
Out of the 12 vendors set up near her Milton business, Macarthy said all reported having good sales during the two day event.
In addition to regularly selling items inside the Possum, James Manning was also selling items outside the business on both Friday and Saturday.
Manning, who regularly participates in the ‘Flea’ events, said the weekend event brings out an assortment of shoppers.
“There are a lot of collectors that are specific on what they collect, but generally things that sell are cast iron, glassware is slow and yard art is big,” Manning said.
Many also flocked towards Millie’s which had many vendors outside the business throughout the weekend.
Ken Smith, a retired Milton resident, sold fishing poles and other equipment at the lot. In addition to selling items, Smith said he enjoys speaking with those who visiting his tent.
“It’s a lot of fun, you get to meet a lot of new people,” he said.
Millie Hare, owner of Millie’s, said her business allowed vendors to open for a third day on Sunday.
“It was absolutely fantastic, we had a wonderful turnout,” she said.
Hare said some vendors cancelled due to the rain, however other vendors filled those spots and even inquired about participating in the next ‘Flea’ event scheduled for April.
Macarthy believes this year’s event helped boost the local economy, due the number of vendors spotted along the sides of the U.S. 90 and vendors near her location were from out of town, meaning they stayed in local hotels during the weekend. She even said there are talks amongst event organizers to further expand ‘Flea’ towards Jacksonville. Originally, ‘Flea’ only encompassed along U.S. 90 from Pensacola to Live Oak.