Amite – Vintage Market Days of Southeast Louisiana is back for yet another successful weekend at the Florida Parishes Arena in Amite. The 3 day long market has become a highly anticipated event in which people of all areas come to enjoy. The Vintage Market is the best place to experience “southern living” and “southern hospitality”.
Kim Ridgell, a food truck vendor, said, “It is an amazing event that brings a lot of people to the area, and it has more different items than your average craft show.”
Vintage Market Days is a company that is based in Oklahoma. Two women, who both had a passion for repurposed and vintage goods, created the market in the Oklahoma area. The show quickly expanded, and soon became a franchise. The show began to travel to other states featuring unique vendors from all over the United States. Don and Michele Carlton were vendors from St. Tammany Parish who sold soy candles at the Vintage Market Days in Texas and Oklahoma. They decided to bring the Vintage Market experience to their home state of Louisiana. After looking at multiple locations in different cities, Florida Parishes Arena was selected as the location for the market. Amite was the perfect location because it seemed to fit the motif that this particular event features. Florida Parishes Arena signed a 5-year contract with Vintage Market Days, and it comes to town twice a year. The market is always held in October and March. This is the fourth weekend Vintage Market Days has spent in Amite, and will continue to do so for the next 3 years.
Kelly Wells, a director for Tangipahoa Parish Government and coordinator at Florida Parishes Arena, said, “This is an unreal and exciting event that we look forward to having every year.”
Florida Parishes Arena wanted to do something that would set them apart from other hosts of the events, so in true southern fashion, they have an appreciation dinner for the participating vendors. They serve things such as jambalaya, seafood gumbo, and white chocolate pudding. The arena even goes out of their way to provide the vendors with showers and plush hotel showers. Acts such as these are what set Florida Parishes Arena apart from the other hosts of Vintage Market Days.
Wells also said, “We want to make the vendors just as happy as the people coming to shop at the Market.”
The market features vintage, architectural salvage, repurposed finds, jewelry and clothing, live music and food trucks. Every vendor offers a different, exceptional craft. There is everything from big furniture pieces to small decorative statements for a home. Since we are in the midst of the holidays, the market featured plenty of fall and Christmas décor. Each station is arranged impeccably, offering creative home decoration ideas to individuals.
Dana Crosby, the Tangipahoa Visitor Center supervisor, said, “I enjoy the amount of detail they put into every aspect of the Vintage Market, from the entrance into the arena to each vendor’s station.”
The event is perfect for a family outing or a weekend with the girls. Families and friends can enjoy live music, grab a bite to eat and get some early Christmas shopping done. It is definitely an event a person needs more than an hour to go through and visit each station. The vendors offer a wide variety of crafts, that everyone should be able to find something worth purchasing. There is a very wide range of prices. The market has things from old milk cans and weathered windows to personalized door hangers and cow hide rugs.
Tye Alexander, owner of Tea Cakes by Lillie’s Daughter, said, “The market came during the time of the great flood back in March and another in August, so it gave people the opportunity to come and get things for decorating their houses.”
Some of the vendors have been a part of the Vintage Market Days in the Florida Parishes since its beginning in 2015. Tea Cakes by Lillie’s Daughter has been a vendor at the market since 2015, which is the same year the business was started. The business is located in Franklinton, LA, however people can buy her famous tea cakes at the market. The business began after the owner’s mom passed away in 2014. Baking tea cakes was a past time the owner enjoyed doing with her mom. This is a way to honor her mother, and let the tea cakes go where she couldn’t.
Alexander said, “I like the fact that this particular market is kind of an upscale market.”
There are also food trucks showcased during the Vintage Market Days weekend. There are both local vendors, and some who travel from a different state. They offered food such as BBQ, homemade kettle corn, grilled cheese sandwiches and brick oven pizza.
Kim Ridgell, part owner of The Southern Spoon, said, “We pass out business cards all day, and we have even booked events through Vintage Market Days. Every year we attend, we seem to get more and more exposure.”
Vintage Market Days has been very well received in the community. Every year new vendors join the market, and bring different crafts to the event. The community is honored to continue to have the Vintage Market Days back in Amite for the next three years. Everyone can look forward to making the next Vintage Market Days in March 2018 at the Florida Parish Arena.
Alexander said, “Come and get your vintage on at Florida Parishes Arena.”