Vintage Market Days coming to civic center -, news, sports, Florida info, Lehigh Acres Citizen
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Vintage Market Days coming to civic center

September 19, 2018
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

If you're looking for vintage clothing, furniture or other classic decor, you might want to visit the Lee Civic Center this coming weekend.

Vintage Market Days will present something called "Simply Vintage," an event that will feature vintage and vintage-inspired merchandise, architectural salvage, repurposed finds, jewelry and clothing live music, food trucks and much more.

Meri Stupes, who owns the franchise with her husband, said her ownership covers Lee, Charlotte and Collier counties and every year they put on a three-day event with about 100 vendors, most of them local.

Don't mistake this for a flea market. This is more upscale.

"It's not your regular flea market. Many of the vendors work the circuit, going from one market to the other," Stupes said. "It's a juried event, so we have to approve them to come out here. They don't just throw their stuff out there. It's very organized."

The business started in Oklahoma six years ago by two ladies who have grown it into 70 franchises nationwide.

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Stupes bought her franchise last year and did her first event in Naples in February at the Collier County Fairgrounds. More than 5,000 people attended and vendors reported record sales.

That was an open-air site, and you can't do that in Florida in September, so the event is indoors, Stupes said, adding that she has that luxury as a franchisee.

It is also a necessity, since these events require lots of square footage and parking, there are few places she can go for an indoor show.

Stupes said she strives to get vendors from South Florida. Most of them for this event will be within two hours from the civic center.

"It's very important for vendors to be busy so they'll come back. We have a lot of repeat vendors," Stupes said.

There will be art, clothing, jewelry, furniture and other upsourced material that is made to look vintage. There are even people who sell mantle pieces and barn doors they tear down and art out of.

There will also be food trucks and giveaways.

The event will be Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $10 on Friday and $5 on Saturday and Sunday, which will allow you for re-entry for the entire weekend. Admission is free for kids 12 and under, as is parking.

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