Biannual flea market draws thousands

Published 9:41 pm Saturday, April 23, 2016

Vendors took advantage of a sunny April Saturday to sell furniture, jewelry, soap, photographs and more around the Old Court House Museum at the biannual flea market.

George “Bubba” Bolm, curator and director at the Old Court House Museum, said he estimated about 3,000 people shopped and ate outside.

“The day started slow, but it got busy at 10 a.m.,” Bolm said. He was expecting more of a mid-day rush.

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About 100 regular vendors and 18 food vendors lined the streets selling their goods.

Marty Kittrell was selling prints of his photography to raise money for his Facebook photography ministry How Great Thou Art.

“I just do this as a passion,” Kittrell said. “These are raising money to buy some new camera lenses and it’s been busy today.”

Most of his pictures were taken in and around Vicksburg showing off the best of the sites in the city. He was enjoying his time outside talking with people and putting his photography on display.

“This is the greatest place in the world to meet people I think,” Kittrell said of the flea market.

His ministry is aimed to give glory to God by showing his creation. Nature itself, Kittrell said, is enough to give anyone faith in God. He said he just took the pictures but he had nothing to do with creating them.

“You won’t see my name on these pictures. I’m just the messenger,” Kittrell said. “I want them to talk about the creator of the picture instead of who took the picture.”

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Many vendors were feeling the heat and making a nice profit at the same time.

“We have been very busy,” the Rev. Sam Godfrey said. “We’ve had a good day.”

Meat and crawfish pies were flying off the counter Saturday as a noontime rush diminished Christ Episcopal Church’s supply of food.

“I’d be surprised if we’re here past 2 p.m.,” Godfrey said adding the church would be back for the fall flea market.

The tent for Wise Owl Handmade Soaps made by sisters Stella Muirhead and Shirley Proctor had a good size crowd sniff the scented and colorful bars. The women sell the soap pretty much exclusively at the flea market, and this was their third year to participate as vendors.

“It’s made with Shea butter, different fragrances, coconut oil and vitamin E oil,” Proctor said, adding they melt it all together and pour it in the mold. “It’s very good for your skin.”

The soaps have fruit, floral and peppermint scents in a multitude of colors that don’t necessarily coordinate with the scent. The sisters have had fun making the soap and decided to try to make a little money off of the pastime.

“Every now and then we’ll go to Monroe maybe or Clinton, but mostly here,” Proctor said.

Bolm estimated the museum raised around $7,000 on the market for the general upkeep of the building.