Close Menu
Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Salisbury Park and Flea drawing tri-state crowd

(April 23, 2015) Salisbury’s weekly Park and Flea event takes the yard sale to a whole new level, super-sizing the concept of antiques, collectibles and various other bric a brac across an enormous parking lot, where dozens of vendors open their virtual garages for the world to see inside, and hopefully, buy and take a few things home.
Michael Day, former “coolest” small town economic development director in Berlin, runs the event, open every Saturday at 7 a.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m.
“I’ve been running it for 13 years,” Day said. “I started it in 2002 when I was on the Salisbury City Council as a signature project.”
Day, at the time a member of the Urban Salisbury board of directors, hatched the flea market to mimic a similar event held every Sunday in Columbia, Md.
The event was originally held in the downtown parking garage before moving the expansive parking lot at the corner of Route 13 and Main Street in downtown Salisbury.
“That cut way back on the advertising, because it was very visible,” Day said. “Before we had to have a lot of signage out. Every Friday somebody would have to go out and put signs up – me, usually – and we had to advertise pretty heavily so people could find it. It had its disadvantages.”
In the old location, Day said the event created a $4,000 deficit in Salisbury, but was kept alive because of the amount of people it brought to the downtown area.
“It was an offset,” he said. “But when we moved out near the highway, we got a lot of free advertising because it was so much more visible, and we didn’t have to have somebody paid because it wasn’t inside the city parking garage anymore.
“It became all-volunteer at that point and it’s owned and operated by the Salisbury Art and Entertainment Committee,” Day continued. “Now it generates money. It’s worked out really well.”
Day said exhibitors come from all across Maryland, as well as Virginia and Delaware.
“We have some real regulars that come up from all over,” Day said. “One guy used to come up every Saturday from Pocomoke and drop off his dry cleaning up here. He switched from Pocomoke to Salisbury because of the flea market.”
In the winter months, at a low, 15-20 exhibitors set up shop in the parking lot, according to Day. That number balloons to more than 60 during the summer, drawing upwards of 1,000 visitors each weekend.
“We’ll sell out half the time in the summer,” Day said. “Our peak has been 93 vendors on a Saturday and 65 on a Sunday.”
Day described the items for sale as, “everything from junk to antiques.”
“It’s way across the board,” he said. “It’s a flea market, flea market, flea market.”
Organizers of the event are looking to increase the draw from areas like Berlin, Ocean City, Ocean Pines and Selbyville, where Park and Flea has been stepping up its advertising budget. The event also recently joined the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce.
For first-time shoppers, Day advised, “Get there as early as you can.”
“You can spend as much time as you want, but usually people take half an hour to an hour walking through,” he said. “You never know what you can find. I’ve seen a quilt sell for $1,200 right next to stuff selling for a quarter.”
For more information visit