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August 24, 2010 > Niles Antique Fair and Flea Market

Niles Antique Fair and Flea Market

By Fina Mora

It's time to shop 'til you drop! The Niles Antique Fair and Flea Market is here, so pull out those walking shoes, grab a bag, and don't forget to bring plenty of cash to shop for bargains. In this once a year event, the entire downtown of Niles will be blocked off for over 300 booths and 200 vendors to display antiques, collectibles, arts, crafts, food and more.

"Sometime back in the 60s it just seemed like that was the thing to do," says Keith Elrod, Event Coordinator for the Niles Antique Fair and Flea Market. "There were so many people that enjoyed antiques in Niles and somebody saw the need for a fair; there were items to sell and people to buy."

Put on by the Niles Main Street Association, visitors to the event can browse in unique Niles shops, dine in restaurants, ride Niles Canyon railway trains, and watch old movies at the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum. Wander the streets where Charlie Chaplin and Broncho Billy began their movie careers, choosing among antiques, collectibles, crafts, plants, garden art, handcrafted jewelry and much more.

"Last year, around 40,000 people attended the one day event. It is Fremont's second largest event after the Festival of the Arts. That means thousands of people on a block," says Elrod. You better come early to get those bargains and be prepared to spend the day walking through the Niles Historic District. It's a great time to find treasures for you and everyone on your gift list to get a head start on holiday shopping.

The pancake breakfast is also back, beginning bright and early as vendors arrive to set up shop at 5 a.m. "The Dawn Breakers Lions Club has been putting on the breakfast for about 20 years. People show up around 4-5 a.m. with flashlights to start shopping," says Elrod. To keep up your strength during the day, there will be food vendors on the street as well as a variety of restaurants and delis to choose from. "In addition to returning vendors such as Thai kabob, BBQ and taquerias, stores and restaurants will be open to serve the public," adds Elrod.

A new addition to the Niles Antique Fair and Flea Market is completion of the Niles Plaza. "The plaza is finished, meaning we are bringing back music this year, something we did not have in past years," says Elrod. "People can come, sit on the lawn with music starting at 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. There will be country, jazz, and all kinds of music for everyone to enjoy."

Not a lot has changed at the Niles Antique Fair and Flea Market over the years. "We try to keep the same recipe. If something works, you don't change it," says Elrod. Now in its 46th year, it is no surprise the Niles Antique Fair and Flea Market has stayed strong, attracting several thousand visitors every year.

Niles Antique Fair and Flea Market
Sunday, August 29
6 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Historic Niles District
Niles Blvd., Fremont
Between G & J streets
(510) 742-9868
www.niles.org

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