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Friday, May 6, 2016

Traders Fair big hit for Croy Creek crowd

Friday, July 14, 2006

The search for hidden treasure may just lie just east of the Clay/Putnam County line.

The Croy Creek Traders Fair, a giant flea market/swap meet, has existed for 36 years on 8504 W. CR 1000 S., near Reelsville. It was started in 1970 by John and Hazel Lynch as a place to trade coon dogs and it kept growing from there.

It grew so much that it caught the attention of the local media.

"I actually found it doing a story on it myself," Mark Allen, WTHI-TV Terre Haute anchorman told the BannerGraphic.

Allen, an avid auction-goer, says he loves these types of places. That is why he took over operations of the traders fair two months ago. Allen said he has made several improvements to the park like setting to help spruce it up.

People can find anything from antiques to pet mice to lawn mowers at the traders fair.

"You can find anything there," Allen said.

The Croy Creek Traders Fair is open every first and third Sunday from April through October. Thousands of people show up at daybreak to examine the booths of hundreds of vendors, Allen said.

Anyone can find great bargains on secondhand and new merchandise at the traders fair, including Allen.

"I love going there anyhow," he said.

For just $3 per person, including vendors who are not charged a set-up fee, people can shop from daybreak until about noon.

"It's just a fun atmosphere," Allen said of the family-friendly environment.

It's common to see families (children under 12 are admitted free) walking the 40-acre site just looking for bargains while stopping at a concession stand for breakfast or letting the kids fish in the pond. There is even a miniature pony booth that many children love.

"It's like the Covered Bridge Festival," Allen said.

People can find professional vendors selling crafts, new merchandise, or even hanging flower baskets for a good deal.

Some vendors sell homemade items and use the profits to benefit a greater cause. Lately, any person who attends a Croy Creek Traders Fair can stop by one lady's booth to buy homemade cinnamon rolls that she stays up all night to bake. Yet, the profit from these baked goods doesn't benefit her directly. She is raising money to help put a new roof on the Mansfield Baptist Church.

Other local people just come out and set up a booth because this fair attracts more people than their yard sale would.

Some vendors aren't local. Allen said he's had vendors come from as far away as Ohio and Missouri. He also said that mostly people from local counties attend the traders fair. Sometimes he talks to people that belong to a group that travels across the country to attend flea markets, but mostly he sees local people come out on the first and third Sunday mornings of its operating months.

Two thousand people even came out one rainy weekend to the traders fair. The bi-monthly event has only been canceled once, when John Lynch passed away. His wife, Hazel, still comes today.

"This is a franchise," Allen said.

A franchise which is one of the oldest running flea markets around and that fascinates him.

The Croy Creek Traders Fair will take place again this Sunday from daybreak until about noon. It is located just east of the Putnam/Clay County line south of U.S. 40. There are signs along the highway, but for driving directions and a map log on to www.croycreektradersfair.com.

For more information call 812-443-2801.

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