Owner of antiques, collectibles and one-of-a-kind items? They might be just the items the first-ever Indiana Flea Market at S&T Bank Arena is looking for.
The flea market, which Ryan Shaffer, recreation director at the S&T Bank Arena, considers to be the “brain child of longtime sitting supervisor George Lenz,” will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 28 at the arena in White Township.
Lenz, Shaffer said, frequents antique flea markets, and has been sitting on this idea for a while.
“George has mentioned that he would like to see the township organize a flea market for several years and he found some local residents that are active in the flea market community,” Shaffer said, noting that they’ve solicited the help of those residents.
Right now, while still in the process of organizing the event, Shaffer and Michelle Sisak, arena office manager, are searching for vendors.
“We’re still in the process of taking registrations,” Shaffer said, “and that process will stay open until 9 o’clock that morning. At this point we probably have a half-dozen committed.”
The pair has high hopes for the flea market, but hopes that it doesn’t become a garage sale-type event.
“The only thing we’re not accepting as of right now is yard-sale type items,” Sisak said, “and we’re not accepting any food for the first one. This is kind of like a trial run, this first one, and then we’re hoping it’ll take off and get bigger.”
The currently committed vendors are selling homemade-type items, and two vendors will sell specifically antiques, including furniture.
In the future, the organizers hope to hold the flea market monthly throughout the entire year, and are advertising the expectations of having antiques, collectibles and one-of-a-kind items, to name a few, during the event.
The future, however, depends on this first flea market.
“In an effort to continue this on a regular basis we’re hoping for a good turnout on this one, because that will determine whether we’re going to hold this again or not,” Sisak said.
According to Shaffer, if the first event goes well and they receive good feedback, there’s a good likelihood that it will continue quarterly, initially, with the expectation of holding it once a month.
As far as initial expectations for the event go, Shaffer said “1,000 customers through the door would be a good number,” and they hope to have at least 50 vendors, what he calls an “optimistic” number.
All of the proceeds for the event will benefit White Township Community Recreation.
“Currently this building is not taxpayer funded,” Shaffer said. “Any revenue we raise further lessens the future option of local citizens being taxed for it.”
Events that raise money for the program, he said, directly help the community.
“It’ll help us maintain good, safe, healthy facilities for kids, as well as continue to provide a number of different programs and services at a lower cost. The goal here is to not raise costs on these programs.”
In addition, Shaffer said, events like this one benefit businesses that already support the arena.
“This is a good opportunity for our businesses that have chosen to advertise in the arena … this is a good chance for them to get exposure in a time of year that we don’t typically have the doors open.”
Vendors interested in participating in the event can apply by going to www.whitetownship.org and downloading a vendor form, which will need to be filled out and mailed in, or they can call the arena at (724) 465-2665. Vendor spaces cost $20 for a 10-by-10 space and $10 for each additional space.
Admission is $1 for adults, and children are free. There will be free parking.
“We’re hoping for a really good turnout,” Sisak said.