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After two-month hiatus, San Jose Flea Market welcomes back customers

After a two-month shelter-in-place fueled hiatus, the San Jose Flea Market is back in operation.

“I think it’s great that they’re opening up. Because it gives us a chance to come out, enjoy the weather, and the prices can’t be beat,” said shopper Warren Smith. Added customer Maria Isidro, “It’s really nice coming back. Being able to enjoy a walk today. It’s a really nice sunny day also. So I’m happy to be back.”
 
Amid sun and mild temperatures Friday, shoppers roamed the 60-acre site, looking for deals on everything from food to clothing to jewelry. Most vendors say they’re glad to see the cash in hand crowd, after enduring a financial hardship since mid-March.


“It was kind of hard, you know, without income. We live from [this]. Iit was tough, these (past) two months,” said vendor Eddie Ganz. Another vendor said, “We’ve been waiting two months for this, to come back to business again.”
 
The market’s owner says all shoppers and vendors must wear face masks during operating hours Friday through Sunday. And social distancing protocols are in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
 
“We want to limit the amount of cars that come into the flea market to 1,500. That way we can assure social distancing throughout the flea market,” said owner Brian Bumb.
 
Bumb’s father first opened this market in 1960. It has since grown to become the world’s largest open-air market. Social scientist Dr. Nenaji says this experience is deeper than just trying to get deeply discounted goods and services.
 
“These types of marketplaces have origins in modern-day Wall Street.” And so we have used these types of markets to develop our communities and develop our way of life,” said Jackson.
 
The flea market will have only half the usual number of vendors to start. But there are hopes, victory over the coronavirus will lead to a return to normal here, and within the larger society.



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Four Seasons Flea Market opens outdoors, will open to retail this week


At the Four Seasons Flea Market in Youngstown, Ohio, there are signs of life.

People who went shopping for fruit, produce and essentials at the McCartney Road business say they are glad to see old friends.

In addition to seeing friends, people at the flea market shopping say it's nice to give local people a little business.

Daniel Wells told 21 News sales of plants are down significantly from last year. He and his wife own Wells' Nursery in Kinsman. 

"We just want everybody to know that business we get now, we really appreciate it. I mean it's never more important to support local businesses and small businesses, especially as we get through this hard time," said Wells.

The flea market was closed for five weeks outdoors and a total of seven weeks indoors, but soon vendors will be allowed to set up inside.

Four Seasons Team Member Maggy Lorenzi said, "If you notice behind me our spaces are 20 feet apart, not six to eight feet to help protect our vendors. We have a gentleman on the grounds who is our distance patrol. His job is to walk around and remind people to keep their distance. Our inside is not open today, and will not be open Wednesday, May 13th, following the governor's direction. Right now vendors are selling produce, plants, and essentials after Wednesday it will be full retail. Our inside vendors will be asked to wear masks unless they have a medical reason not to, as the governor has explained."

Lorenzi said inside the business, they have a commercial ventilation system.

She said they will be watching how many people are inside the store so it does not get overcrowded. 

People there appreciate growing signs of life, but are hopeful everything gets back to normal sooner rather than later.

"It's nice to come out here and support local people. I miss my friends out here socializing with them, sitting on a bench eating our little hot dog and french fries. It's just different now with corona going around all we can do it take it day by day and be blessed. I'm looking forward for the weather to be real hot, and for everything to be open. It reminded me of a carnival or a fair out here packed with so many people. I think it will be a while before everything will get back to normal. We just have to deal with it and enjoy what we can until it does," said shoppers Jazz and Carolyn Moncrief. 



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