Despite cancellation, Flea Across Florida goes on

By Jody Conrad | Special to the Press Gazette

Will the show go on, or won’t it? That is the question.

The annual Flea Across Florida, an event held every second Friday and Saturday in April, is officially cancelled due to continued COVID concerns.

Flea Across Florida has officially been cancelled for 2021, but several local participants say they plan to set up booths anyway to hold their own unofficial Flea Across Florida events.

But according to several locals who traditionally participate, a scaled-down version of the event will take place, albeit unofficially.

Flea Across Florida traverses the Panhandle and beyond, stretching along Highway 90 from Pensacola to Jacksonville. Traditionally the route encompasses yard sales and open air markets in towns and cities along the way.

Tom Scott, a local participant, said that while the event has been officially cancelled, that won’t squelch the spirit of many locals who plan to set up their card tables and go for it anyway.

“Lots of sellers spend a good part of their year looking for interesting things to offer for sale at this event,” Scott said. “Just because the event is unofficial, this won’t stop anyone who has access to a spot from setting up and selling."

This map shows the locations where sellers set up markets for Flea Across America in past years.

Scott, who owns a warehouse on Elva Street, one block off of Hwy. 90, goes for the bigger items. He said he has purchased cars, two boats, and a couple of tractors to try his hand at re-selling.

On the other hand, Cheryl Ray, another local participant, said she sets up shop when she has an over- abundance of things around her house.

“We have a blast doing this,” Ray said. “If we weren’t so busy selling, we’d be driving around and buying stuff to sell the next time. Many of the folks who participate in this event shop other places all year so that they have interesting things to share here.”

Kathy Nettles and her husband Ed are avid flea market shoppers who have taken trips “from Maine to South Florida and all points in between, searching for nautical treasures.”

“We love meeting new people and hearing their stories, traveling, and hunting for tossed away treasures,” Kathy said.

Flier

While the organizers of Flea Across Florida have officially cancelled the April event, they are still encouraging folks to visit the myriad treasure shops and businesses along the route.

So whether or not the event is official, the spirit is apparently willing. And the show just might go on. Maybe.