A Market sans Fleas

fleamarket 3Flea Market: This is a jocular term for an open-air or street market for mainly second hand merchandise, which would be the type of items that might be infested with fleas. The first flea markets were in Paris and they were called marché aux puces, which translates to ‘market with fleas’. – Dictionary.com

You were always wondering why they called it that, didn’t you? Whilst vacationing in Oliver, BC this summer, I discovered that this little town has a weekend flea market – as well as a Kiwanis Market (which is really just a thrift shop in a warehouse). We didn’t find any fleas (thank goodness) but enjoyed looking at the vendors’ wares.

fleamarket 1There was everything from china cups to used books, old cameras to canning jars, crocheted doilies to fancy jewelry. This fellow’s stall featured a treasure trove of Canadiana – like old snowshoes, moose antlers and a papoose. There also seemed to be a great deal of Titanic-themed paraphernalia… what’s with that?

fleamarket 2 jpgThe fun thing about flea markets is that kitsch seems to rule. You get velvet Elvis next to an inflatable Bud Lite can – and that carving of an ice-fishing Inuit too!

Wineries represented from the bottom: River Stone, Stone Boat and Quinta Ferreira

Wineries represented from the bottom: River Stone, Stone Boat and Quinta Ferreira

I found some greetings cards and a jewelry stand that had some beads to add to my new bracelet. The wineries have this new thing called a “bead trail” where each winery had a bead created to represent their winery. Suckers like me, buy the bracelet, the representative bead, and colourful spacer beads to go in between. If I’d been smart, I would have bought the bracelet and all the spacer beads here, where they were a FRACTION of what I paid for them at the wineries. Live and learn!

What’s your best flea market find?

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