An update to this story was posted May 19.
Marilyn Edlund has run the Bank Street Flea Market in Kalamazoo, Mich., on Wednesdays for 42 years. She has shared the space with the Kalamazoo Farmer’s Market, who occupies the spot on other days of the week. She had a contract with the City of Kalamazoo, but the agreement ended this year. And in a break with tradition, the city has decided to open up the location to anyone who wants to rent the space on a day-to-day basis. So looking ahead to future Wednesdays, the space may be occupied by a flea market (Edlund’s or someone else’s), or by some other event, or by no one at all.
“This way we’ve opened it up,” says City of Kalamazoo parks manager Mark Polega, “so that if anyone wants to run the flea market, it doesn’t have to be Marilyn. It could be you — for example, you could say that on July 16 I want to reserve the Farmer’s Market to run a car show. We have special events all across our parks system all the time, and this would be no different. This will open it up to other people to do things if they want to. So we’re not saying that there won’t be a flea market, its just a little different way of doing it.”
Polega says he does not know the reason for the change from the former season-long contract arrangement, but he did mention that other people have asked about using the site. Depending on the cost to the city, Polege says that reserving the location will cost about $200.
The decision is only affecting the flea market, not the farmer’s market, which typically runs two or three days a week, seasonally.
This story was first reported in the Kalamazoo News. According to that report, anyone wishing to reserve the farmer’s market location on an upcoming Wednesday can call the Kalamazoo City Clerk’s office at 269-337-8792. FleaMarketZone was unable to reach Marilyn Edlund. Photo credit, with thanks: Jay P.