One of the advantages of traveling so much is that you occasionally run across some local activities which showcases area creativity. Vintage Market Days is one of those three day fall markets which occurs in several cities, St. Louis, Oklahoma City, Dallas and the one I attended was outside of Tulsa in Kellyville, Oklahoma at the Creek County Fairgrounds. For three days, depending on the kind of ticket you purchased, gift seekers can browse three large barns of clever ideas. My ticket was just $5 for a two day pass.
What to Expect:
Since every city that celebrates Vintage Market Days will invite area artists, crafters and foodies, you’ll probably enjoy attending several of these. The one I went to was held in barns at the county fairgrounds where floors covered in a mixture of sawdust, wood curls and straw, added to the ambience of pure country. I expected crowds but everyone remained friendly, helpful and offered advice as to where to find that special gift I tried to locate. There was plenty of laughter, noise and music. The smells of donuts, popcorn and pulled pork sandwiches tempted me the entire time I strolled through the aisles of treasures. Plenty of samples kept me satisfied until my feet begged me to stop for lunch and a needed break.
As to the creative possibilities I discovered there isn’t enough space here to cover it all. I loved the recycled jewelry made into cuffs and the maps turned into tiny pendants of a favorite location. The fresh honey mixed with strawberries forced me to snatch a jar. I loved the former Texas principal who gave up her work to make salsa and chips. And yes I bought that too. I convinced myself it would be a Christmas gift, but by the time I reached home I decided no way. Just too delicious. The wooden wall art, repurposed furniture and vintage clothing all made me a little crazy with the decorating bug. Angel wings, antiques, Christmas décor and teepees for the kids added more confusion to my wish list.
My Plan of Attack:
- Wear comfortable/seasonal appropriate clothing. The day started out really cool but by the time I left it was almost 85. In a place like this don’t wear flip flops like my daughter. You’re banging your toes or getting stepped on not to mention the straw and sawdust on the floor.
- No big purse. Smaller is better especially if you plan to buy.
- Have an idea of what you’re looking for before you arrive.
- Take your time. Stroll through the entire market to sample, take pictures, chat with vendors to get a feel for what will fit your needs. They love to visit and don’t mind answering your questions and talking about how they started their small business.
- If you don’t want to carry that first purchase around with you early in the day, ask if the vendor will hold it for you. My daughter and I loved the salsa and knew the kind we wanted would be limited. The vendor took our money and kept the package in a safe place until we were ready to leave. This happened a couple of times and we were very grateful.
- Take cash but most vendors now use Square or PayPal. Makes life easier.
- Be ready to pack your stash when you head home. I made sure there was a blanket, some quilt batting and a couple of boxes to store things on my ride home.
- Do pick up business cards of vendors you’d like to contact later for another choice or a special order. My daughter bought a location necklace and by the time she got home thought of several friends who needed one for Christmas and has already contacted the creator.
- Keep hydrated. These places have cold water, tea and lemonade for purchase. Shopping is thirsty business. You’ll stay energized.
- Buy advanced tickets online. Sometimes this means you get in early or a faster line.
Things to Reconsider:
- Kids – This is a very family friendly place. Having said that it can be hot, dusty, crowded (everyone is so much bigger than a three-year-old), slow and confining. That is a recipe for an unhappy toddler. Strollers are big, bulky items that slows the flow of traffic. Again this doesn’t bother me, but you’re going to be exhausted when all is said and done. I watched a small child puke his guts out in front of a charming display. Customers scattered leaving the vendor to help with damage control.
- Pets – I’ve never understood why someone feels the need to bring their full grown Great Dane dressed like a ballerina to an event like this. Someone even brought their pig on a leash to strut through the crowd. This is NOT a good idea. Leave your fur babies home.
- Impulse Buying – My daughter found a console table she loved. The vendor was gracious enough to pull it out so she could examine the color more closely. She waited on buying the table an hour by visiting other furniture displays and decided in the end it wasn’t exactly what she wanted. If you walk away and forget what it was you liked about the item, you probably don’t need it.
So if you missed Vintage Market Days…it comes around again in the spring! Make plans now. So much fun.