In line with the farmers and flea market fusion trend, the Hopatcong City Council voted this week to apply for a $32,000 grant from the Highlands Council to add a flea market component to the Hopatcong Farmers Market. The grant money, Councilman Michael Francis and Mayor Sylvia Petillo told the Alternative Press, will be used to advertise the market on the radio and local television stations. The team’s focus will be on attracting new vendors, then possibly moving to a larger venue if the response is great enough.
“The [farmers] market took on a life of its own,” Francis says. Regarding its planned growth, he says, “We put wings on it while it was flying.” In order to help vendors, Hopatcong does not charge a vendor fee. “Most vendors are so small that if they have a bad day and have to pay a fee, they don’t make any money.” The flea market is slated to launch at some point in the spring, though no firm date has been set at this time. It will take place on Saturdays at the park and ride lot with parking available at the DPW garage, which can hold around 50 vendors in 15-foot spots. He expresses that the area has “just the right demographic for a flea market,” and that the lack of competition from other flea markets creates an opportunity for the expanding market to fill a community-wide need.