On Saturday, June 21st, we partnered with Marietta Marketplace to host a unique new kind of event — a pop-up flea. The first day of summer dawned gray and damp, but despite the gloom passersby were enticed by white tents going up on the Armory lawn on Front Street.  By ten o’clock, the clouds had broken, there were 16 vendors ready to do business, and the Armory Square was bustling with the first Marietta Marketplace.

Marietta Marketplace is a unique, mobile curated flea market, and its inaugural event was deemed a success by both vendors and visitors.  The outdoor market provided a chance for local vendors, artists and small businesses to showcase their products and interact with customers on a personal level.  In addition, vendors from outside the Mid-Ohio Valley participated, bringing their own energy and unique products. Clutch MOV set up to sell market tote bags, as well as Marietta postcards designed by Miss Mallory herself.

Katie hanging out at the Clutch table.

Katie hanging out at the Clutch table.

If your idea of a flea market is rows of tables heaped with garage sale cast-offs and cheap t-shirts, you are in for a pleasant surprise.  The inaugural Marketplace featured original art, letterpress posters, upcycled and vintage items, lawn sculptures, handmade jewelry, photo art, gourmet jellies and delicious baked goods.

Visitors ambled along the walkways browsing the booths, meeting the vendors, and discovering unique treasures.  Many commented that they were learning about the artists for the first time, and according to organizer Laura Pytlik, that is one of the objectives.

“There are many creative, talented people in the Mid Ohio Valley who may not have a brick and mortar presence. Our goal is to help promote Marietta as a destination Main Street city while providing a venue for small businesses, artists and vendors to showcase their products. Similar events, such as The City Flea in Cincinnati, have grown in popularity and add an exciting shopping experience to urban areas.”

The location on the Armory lawn not only highlighted Armory Square as an outdoor venue, it offered visitors easy access to the unique shops and merchants that make Marietta a charming, vibrant downtown.   People also took advantage of the historic walking bridge to visit Harmar Village just across the river.

Jewelry from Pittsburg vendor, Bel Monili

Jewelry from Pittsburg vendor, Bel Monili

By the end of the day, some vendors had sold many if not most of their products, made new contacts and even established new friendships with fellow artisans.  Community members and visitors to Marietta had enjoyed a fresh retail experience and hopefully discovered (or re-discovered) the wonderful merchants and business that make up Marietta.

Plans are already in motion for the Fall Marietta Marketplace which will be Saturday, October 4th, from 10-5 on the Armory Square.  Laura assures us that the next event will feature many of the same sellers along with new vendors from the MOV and beyond. “I’ve already received applications from some outstanding artists and handcrafters, and I’m working on a few additions to the Marketplace to provide an enjoyable day for all involved”

If you’d like to meet the vendors that were part of the June 21st event, you can click on the Vendor page at www.MariettaMarketplace.com .

You can also follow the Marketplace on Facebook to receive news and announcements about vendors and upcoming events!