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Vintage market to come back to civic center

September 11, 2019
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

Following the success of last year's inaugural event, Vintage Market Days will return to the Lee Civic Center Friday to Sunday, Sept. 13 to 15.

Vintage Market Days is a vintage inspired indoor/outdoor market featured as one of Country Living's "Seven Flea Markets and Barn Sales Not To Miss."

Vintage Market Days is not a flea market, but rather a juried event accepting vendors based on variety, originality, and quality of goods sold. Much of what they sell is created from vintage materials and repurposed to make a beautiful piece.

Meri Stoute, who owns the franchise with her husband, said her territory covers Lee, Charlotte and Collier counties as well as Palm Beach on the east coast and every year they put on a three-day event with about 100 vendors, most of them local.

"They sell everything from furnishings to home decor, jewelry, clothing and more. We also have handmade nuts and cookies and jellies, salsa and dips for people to sample so they can try before they buy," Stoute said.

Stoute started her business two years ago and has seen tremendous success, with many of the vendors at last year's civic center event selling out their inventory.

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The event will feature vintage and vintage-inspired merchandise, architectural salvage, repurposed finds, jewelry and clothing live music, food trucks and much more.

An added bonus this year is the opportunity for those who bought tickets in advance to come at 9 a.m. early and get first dibs on merchandise.

Vendor selection is designed to provide customers with not only the highest quality of vendors but a collection of vendors who compliment one another.

Vintage Market Days provides vendors the opportunity to participate in more than 60 vintage market events. All market locations are selected to ensure the market success, and the civic center provided that last year, with nearly 5,000 attending.

Vintage Market Days will also start making two trips to the civic center annually. It will return March 20 to 22, 2020 and on Sept. 25 to 27 next year.

Stoute said the civic center has proven a popular space for the vendors.

"The other places didn't have enough space and some ended up outside. We want everyone to be covered and everyone can be indoors," Stoute said.

Vintage Market Days is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A three-day buying pass is $10, with a Saturday/Sunday pass available for $5. Admission is free for children under 12 as is parking.

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