PENINSULA, Ohio — COVID canceled art shows, concerts and festivals throughout the world, but a staple event in Summit County has carried on this summer successfully and safely.
Carol and George Haramis, the owners of Heritage Farms where Peninsula Flea is held, didn’t know if they should have the craft, artisan, open-air market this summer.
But after much consideration and adjustment, Carol said they knew they had to carry on with the fifth year of the flea market.
“Our vendors started the summer with just about every market that they had registered for being canceled and we wanted to give it a shot and see if we can provide a safe location for them, to be able to sell all of the beautiful stuff that they’ve made,” she said.
The first market, back in June, was a test to see how it would go. The couple admits, they didn’t know if the public would come out or respond to the spaced-out vendors, the mask mandate, and the social distancing requirement, but was pleasantly surprised when they did.
“The public has cooperated beautifully,” said George Haramis.
For vendors like Annie Becker, who runs the booth Spare pARTs with her sister, Peninsula Flea has been a bright spot in a rather bleak summer.
“Every art show was canceled so being at Peninsula has been an opportunity to show my artwork and the shoppers have been really receptive to it,” she said.
Their booth consists of reclaimed and upcycled items.
“We find old crates, rugs, vintage clothing, books, anything you can possibly think of you’ll find it in our booth,” she said.
George and Carol Haramis have now held four markets at the farm. They said each time they’ve had the market, about 1,500 people have showed up throughout the 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. time period.
“We enjoy seeing all of the people coming in and our vendors being able to share what they made,” said George. “Our vendors are reporting consistently that they have strong sales all summer this has been good for them.”
Becker echoed their sentiment.
“People came out and they’re still coming out,” she said. “They say ‘if you’re here and you’re going to be here, it takes a lot for you guys to set up, and we are going to support you’ and we are grateful for those people. The people who come, they support us, and they buy from all the vendors and it’s so nice to see people walking away with bags and happiness in their bag.”
The last two markets of the season are August 15 and Sept. 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.