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By Jeff Pack
Staff Writer 

Farmers market, vintage swap meet planned for town


Last updated 10/2/2020 at 12:31pm

In one respect, it is remarkable that the community of Fallbrook doesn’t already have a weekly farmers market in town and perhaps equally so as to why the town doesn’t have it’s own vintage swap meet.

No matter, both are now in the works and could arrive within the next month or so, with one starting sooner than the other.

“We are starting a farmer's market on Saturdays,” Lila MacDonald, chief executive officer of the Fallbrook Chamber of Commerce, said. “Again, lots of people have asked and it just has not become a reality and now it can be.”

MacDonald said the farmer’s market will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, beginning Oct. 3. The market will be located in the same downtown location on Main Avenue that currently has street closures on the weekends.

“It will be on the same footprint, where we've closed the road already, so we're not impacting further,” MacDonald said. “Alvarado will remain open. We want to keep all those east-westbound streets open for traffic.

“The farmer's market will have a certified market on one block and then the non-certified vendors on the opposite block, still allowing for the restaurants and businesses to be able to do business during the farmer's market.”

So far, MacDonald said, the chamber has received a big response from potential vendors.

“We've had a lot of people apply,” she said. “I know that it'll grow, meaning it'll start out small and then grow because COVID has restrictions as well. It will probably start out with 20 to be COVID safe.

“I feel like that's a great thing for the community and if we build it, I want it to be a community thing. This isn't about the chamber being in charge, it's about the chamber helping to get it done.”

Vendors interested in the Fallbrook Main Avenue Farmers Market should visit or call 760-728-5845.

Robert Sommers, owner of the Blue Heron Gallery for the past 23 years, is proposing to bring a vintage swap meet to Fallbrook, hopefully by the end of the year, if not sooner.

“I've been in contact with hundreds of great vendors and Fallbrook residents that want to be on board,” he said. “We've had some initial hiccups with the County of San Diego, but I think they're all going to be resolved.

“I'm working vigorously to surmount the logistical problems right now, but everybody is really tired of being cooped up. And I am interested in opening up a COVID-sensitive, masked, socially distant swap meet where people can get out and stretch their legs and look at really great stuff from tin to Tiffany, as they say, from low end things to upper end things.”

He said he’s planning on bringing in about 40 vendors, some from as far away as New Mexico, to the parking lot that he partially owns.

“There's money in Fallbrook and they like nice things and this will be a way for them to see interesting things and get out to the swap meet,” Sommers said. “Now the swap meet, isn't going to work if I can't pull from other areas of San Diego. One of the goals I have is that we get people from Oceanside, people from Escondido, and I put on a top notch venue with things that you would normally have to go to a nice indoor swap meet to see. I have some of the greatest dealers in not only California. I've had people from New Mexico that want to come out from Santa Fe and do my swap meet on the basis of a reputation I've built over the last 30 or 40 years. So, this will be like no other swap meet.”

Sommers said there will be everything from top line antique dealers to regular folks selling their stuff after cleaning out their garage. He said those types of vendors are key to the atmosphere of a good swap meet.

“If we don't have the guy cleaning at his garage, you won't find anything because there are levels,” he said. “It is going to be everything from old line dealers to just normal Joes.”

So far, he said, he’s already receiving requests for double booths from locals and out-of-town dealers.

Interested vendors should contact Sommers at the Blue Heron Gallery by calling 760-731-9355 or emailing [email protected]

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at [email protected]


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