An industrial lot was transformed into a sea of flea market finds at the grand opening of the Paris of the South Flea Market this weekend. Everything from metal bed frames to African shea butter was on display at 530 Lyman Street in the River Arts District.
Vendors Anna Robertson and Trish Caldwell stood proudly behind a table of teacups, baseball cards and picture frames. “We’ve had a constant stream of people since 6:30 a.m. People are buying big stuff and little stuff. We’ve done pretty good so far,” says Robertson.
Customers were greeted by music from electric guitarist Al Schlimm and bassist Jake Wolf, who gave the flea market a festive feel. Gypsy Queen Cuisine and Ursa Minor Coffee provided nourishment and much-needed relief from the heat.
Over twenty vendors lined the parking lot, ranging from gently used treasures to hand-crafted art pieces. Milton Cable sells handmade cigar box guitars and mountain banjos under the name Cable’s Appalachian Strings. He appreciates the opportunity to expand beyond the typical craft show circuit. “It’s exciting to have a place in the River Arts District to display your art and get a local following,” he says.
Nate Gleiner, who was visiting Asheville from Cincinnati, remarked upon the close-knit feel of the market. “People were incredibly friendly and spent a great deal of time telling stories and giving advice.”
The market will continue this Sunday from dawn to dusk. Subsequent first, second and fourth weekends will feature collectibles, furniture, vintage clothing and “good old-fashioned junk at a good price,” according to the press release. Every third weekend will offer antiques of all kinds.
Whether you’re a devoted collector or causal browser, there are plenty of flea market finds at the new Paris of the South Flea Market. All it takes is a good eye and a little digging to uncover local and regional gems.
Photos by Rich Orris