Elida flea market set for Saturday

The township of Elida is having a flea market Saturday with arts and crafts, homemade barbecue and ice cream, and a chance to get to know a place that was once the same size as Portales.

“The idea was to sort of promote the town,” organizer Judy Dukes said. “It’s an older, dying community with a lot of retired people and I realized a lot of them are artistic people.”

The flea market is in its third year, running one Saturday during each summer month. This year’s circuit runs 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Dukes said she started going to the senior center in Elida and saw that men and women both made arts and crafts and she thought about a way to display the works.

“I thought we can do something to show off what we do here,” Dukes said, “and try to get some younger arts and crafts people to come here.”

Dukes said there are no vendor fees and vendors can keep any money they make. The Branding Iron is serving barbecue on a bun, chips and drink for $4 and Elida Memories will be open for tours.

“We’ve had at the most 18 vendors who have come in and filled up the area,” Dukes said.

Dukes said if turnout continues to increase, a Sunday session may be added to the mix. Elida Court Clerk/Deputy Clerk Janet Pope said the flea market helps to acquaint people with the town and lets them know what services are available.

“It is a nice, quiet community, and they might think about retiring here,” Pope said. “They can find out about our school here and enroll their kids, because we have an excellent school here. Just having the tourists come in helps to boost the town.”