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August 27, 2008 > Niles Antique Fair and Flea Market

Niles Antique Fair and Flea Market

By Vidya Pradhan and William Marshak

Every year, bargain hunters gather for a gigantic treasure hunt in the Fremont District of Niles. This massive party has a 44 year history that, along with the antiques and memorabilia displayed for sale, gets better with age. During this event, hundreds of antique dealers and merchants spread their wares along Niles Boulevard welcoming curious browsers and serious collectors alike. The affair is one of the largest of its kind in all of California and people come from near and far to see what treasures can be found. Niles is the perfect location since it reflects a rich history filled with noisy steam locomotives and silent films. The event's motto is "Shop 'til you drop," and vendors are hoping you will do just that.

Known for its antique stores and unique western style, Niles is a former bustling railroad town and home to Essanay Studios and silent movie superstars such as Charlie Chaplin and Broncho Billy. Its proud traditions include this highly successful street fair, attracting thousands every year. Boasting stores and merchandise, both modern and from bygone days, the Niles Edison Theater and Essanay Silent Film Museum help to represent the colorful history of this unique town, one of five that incorporated in 1956 to form the city of Fremont. Niles is a must see attraction for visitors who want to experience the aura of the "wild west."

The Niles Antique Faire and Flea Market is a fundraiser for the Main Street Association whose goal is to preserve historic assets along with sensible business assets. This town's mix of retail establishments includes a large number of antique stores that always extend a warm welcome to all visitors, especially throughout the day of the fair and preceding early morning hours as well. The Essanay Silent Film Museum will be open to display artifacts and show films in the Edison Theater from the days when Charlie Chaplin and other famous film stars could be seen walking through town. The Niles Canyon Railway will also offer train rides through Niles Canyon, the path of the first Transcontinental Railroad.

Vendors gather from near and far to create an extensive and eclectic gathering of memorabilia for antique hunters. It is rare to find the range of items of this open market sales event in one place so it is not unusual for casual and professional bargain hunters to work their way through the offerings side by side. Hundreds of vendors line the streets selling everything from art and antiques to barbecue and snow cones. All you need is a hat, a bag and plenty of cash! Come early, spend the day! Treasures are waiting for you and everyone on your gift lists.

The 44th Annual Niles Antique Fair and Flea Market kicks off 6 a.m. on Sunday, August 31.

Niles Antique Fair and Flea Market
Sunday, August 31
6 a.m. - 4 p.m.
(510) 742-9868

Train info:
Film museum: (510) 494-1411

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