By IvyLee Rosario
What once started as an auction house, is now a booming farmers and flea market celebrating its 61st year in business. The New Castle Farmers Market houses over 80 merchants inside selling food and non-food items, with 200 spaces outside available for market vendors. The outdoor market sells secondhand merchandise – collectables, antiques and anything from lawn equipment and furniture, to clothing. The inside portion of the market houses 15 restaurants ranging from Mexican to Indian, individually owned and operated stores such as jewelry, clothing shops, specialty stores, furniture, and even a barbershop. “We have a ton of different shops all under one roof,” said Greg Beecher, General manager of New Castle. “Some of our vendors have been here for 25 years or more.”
The market, which is open year round, has an average attendance of 20,000 to 30,000 customers, making it a must-attend event. The indoor farmers market is open Friday and Saturday 9am to 9pm and Sunday 10am to 6pm, while the flea market outside is open from sunrise to sunset. If looking to become a vendor at New Castle, unfortunately space is limited. “We are completely full inside and offer a waiting list but vendors are always welcome to join in on the flea market outside,” said Beecher. Outside reservations are on a four-week basis covering 12 market-selling days. Blacktop spaces run for $260, while the dirt and grass area is $220 every four weeks. There are also daily rates available.
With New Castle doing so well, Beecher said they hope to continue their growth process like they did in 2008 when adding the Pennsylvania Dutch section inside. “We have a dirt area we are looking to blacktop, we want to add some new parking lot lighting and expand even more for new spaces and entertainment. We want to continue to improve the property as much as we can.”
With such a large following and customer base, the market views themselves as part of the community and even funds events to help those in town. The market hosts a free flu shot campaign through the state of Delaware that is available through the season and draws in hundreds of people each year. They give free space to community non-profits and people looking to promote their new businesses or a special cause. Beecher said New Castle sees this as a great accomplishment for the community. In addition to being active with the residents of New Castle, the market also prides itself on what they are offering to their customers. “We are very proud of the variety of produce you can get at our market,” said Beecher. “These are owner operated stores that for the majority, have been here for 20 plus years on long tenancy. We are always looking for the next great tenant, one with experience in retail and can offer our customers a unique space to shop.” For more information on the New Castle Farmers Market, call 302-328-4102 or visit www.newcastlefarmersmarket.com.
New Castle Farmers Market
110 N. Dupont Highway
New Castle, DE 19720
Tel. 302-328-4102 or 302-328-4101