The Journal Gazette
Monday, July 12, 2021 1:00 am

Rain slows, doesn't stop shoppers

Plenty of room to seek bargains at flea market

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

Rosemary Hampton and Nick Howell stopped Sunday at Lawton Park on a whim.

A sign advertising the annual Lawton Park Flea Market caught the couple's attention as they drove down Clinton Street, and they couldn't resist browsing the vendors.

They had plenty of room to explore as the cool, wet weather created a less bustling atmosphere than on Saturday, which had warmer temperatures and mostly cloudy skies.

The two-day flea market coincided with the Three Rivers Festival, which promoted the sale as an affiliated event.

As a helicopter offering tours to festivalgoers circled overhead, shoppers strolled the flea market aisles, pausing to look at items including accessories, home and lawn decor, succulents, board games, jewelry and toys.

Hampton, a Fort Wayne resident, keeps an eye out for “Star Trek” collectibles at such events, but she said she appreciates other cool finds even if she doesn't buy them. Howell, a Peru resident, enjoys thrift shopping and said he likes to look for model trains.

Leilanni Deveraux appreciated the exposure the flea market gave her months-old coffee and tea business.

Along with offering a French roast and breakfast blend, Deveraux's Gourmet Coffee Boutique sells such flavored coffees as bananas Foster, Tahitian vanilla, pumpkin spice and blueberry cobbler.

Teas include berry and chai.

Deveraux launched the business after the pandemic negatively affected her transportation company, she said, noting she's “trying something new” with the switch to beverages.

“People seem to like it,” Deveraux said.

Sandy Reed, a Fort Wayne vendor whose inventory included antiques and glassware, managed her booth with daughter Miranda Reed, who traveled from South Bend.

“I've been doing shows with her since I was 5,” the younger Reed said.

Sandy Reed credited Saturday's crowds to people being “a little hungry to get out,” and she deemed the weekend – her first Lawton Park Flea Market – a success.

“It went really well,” said Sandy Reed, who usually sets up shop at McCulloch Park.

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