LARGO, Fla. - The Wagon Wheel Flea Market was a staple in Pinellas County for more than 55 years. However, back in June, it announced they’d be permanently closing their doors, leaving hundreds of vendors with nowhere else to go.
“Us vendors are left out in the cold, there’s really no place close to go. I’d been going there for 30 years. Customers too.
There’s a lot of regular, regular customers that are totally lost,” said Kenneth Tobin, a vendor who had previously been at Wagon Wheel for decades.
The flea market’s closure combined with the COVID-19 pandemic has made it a hard couple of months for many.
“A lot of people who were at Wagon Wheel, that was their business, that was their livelihood,” explained Michael Ostafinski, who had also been a vendor at the Wagon Wheel Flea Market for several years.
However, there’s now a new flea market in town, and vendors are hopeful once again.
“I think it’s a great idea,” said Tobin. “More people need to look into it. You’ll find everything out here. It’s not only a flea market, we arts and crafts. We have other items for the customers.”
The Minnreg Flea Market held its grand opening Saturday and the turnout was huge. It will be open select weekends throughout the holiday season. But to make that possible, they need vendors.
“This is a very tightknit community. The vendors, they know each other. They work together. Set up their booths. They have been the ones spreading the word, and they have said to us, we’re so glad we now have an outlet for our business,” said Thom Dupper, the President of Minnreg Hall.
For former Wagon Wheel vendors, they’re hopeful they may have found a new place to call home.
“I’m hoping that it’ll get more popular, the tables will all be filled, and we’ll get a lot of crowds,” said Ostafinski.
The flea market will be open select weekends leading up to Christmas. Click here for more information on the schedule, or if you’re interested in becoming a vendor.
CONNECT WITH FOX 13: