The weekend started off with the bright and sunny weather experienced on Saturday, putting everyone into high spirits for opening day at the highly anticipated Elephant’s Trunk Flea Market this past Sunday, April 6. Overcast skies and substantially lower temperatures greeted sellers as the sun peeked onto the horizon on Sunday morning, yet more than 100 dealers were on hand, anxious to set up their wares and get the season off to a “brisk” start.
The market got a jump on the new season this year, starting a week earlier than it did in 2007.
A large crowd was on hand for opening, and despite all of the preshow chit-chat among friends and acquaintances, many of whom had not seen each other since the close of the market in 2007, the shoppers were equally anxious to get the Elephant’s Trunk underway.
The line for this market starts early, with Elephant’s Trunk manager Greg Baecker swinging the gate open for early buying, $20 admission, at 5:45. The regular crowd moseys in at 7, in previous years for a buck, this year for two.
The hand trucks and carts that the market provides customers to transport heavier items were pressed into service throughout the day with a variety of chairs, cupboards and cabinets changing hands. Many were quickly removed from the field, others were merely relocated to a different vendor’s space. Tables, desks and a particularly large Art Deco medical office storage unit were among the other large items seen being carted away. Lots of smalls ranging from early glass to 1970s lamps were sold, as was a good selection of posters, prints and other art.
With room to accommodate about 490 dealers and parking places for more than 1,000 eager buyers, the number of vendors varies from week to week (mostly determined by the weather) as does the selection of merchandise. The vast majority of the vendors bring antiques, with the management roughly estimating that only 30 percent deal in crafts and new merchandise. Dealers bring anything from high-end antiques to boxes filled with toothpaste and tube socks.
The market began in 1975, with Baecker taking the helm in 1976. At that time dealers were set up on the front lawn of the house on Route 7, then a boutique and now serving as the show office for the “Trunk.” The original market hosted eight dealers, at $8 a spot. More and more vendors made their way to the Elephant’s Trunk as great finds and good sales were reported on a regular basis.
The market has come a long since the days when Baecker used to “find the farmer’s cows on our field at 3 am, and we would have to herd them back to their barn.”
“On an average Sunday between May and October, we get around 300 exhibitors,” said the promoter.
For further information, www.etflea.com .