Sunny skies and friendly smiles mark 49th Willington Flea Market

By Annie Gentile - ReminderNews
Willington - posted Thu., Sep. 15, 2011
A selection of jewelry for every style and taste could be found at the Willington Flea Market. Photos by Annie Gentile.
A selection of jewelry for every style and taste could be found at the Willington Flea Market. Photos by Annie Gentile.

Crowds of people came to the 49th annual Willington Flea Market for the antiques, the collectibles, the one-of-a-kind items, the homemade goods, the great food, and - perhaps most of all – for the camaraderie.

“This is one of the big social events of the year in Willington,” said First Selectman Christina Mailhos, as she chatted with Tara Bergeron at the booth set up by the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, one of several non-profit organizations represented.

For Willington residents and many others outside the small town, the Willington Flea Market is an annual event that provides a social opportunity to meet up with friends and catch up with each other after summer’s end.

“[The flea market] tends to bring out a lot of folks, and I run into so many of my neighbors I haven’t seen in a while,” said Willington resident Christine Psathas.

“It’s a social event. It’s fun to look for little treasures, and I like to come and support local groups,” said Laurie Semprebon, also of Willington.

Sponsored by the Federated Church of Willington and held on the Town Green, the market featured more than 40 vendors and non-profit groups from Willington and all over Connecticut’s northeastern region.

“I come to support the local organizations that are here. That’s the main reason, but also because it’s fun,” said Diane Nadeau, director of marketing, membership services and tourism for the Windham Region Chamber of Commerce, of which Willington is a part. “There’s something for everyone here. I like vintage costume jewelry, the kinds of things you’d only find in your grandmother’s jewelry box. People used to dress a lot more fun back then,” she said, adding that she has almost as much fun watching people and what they are buying as she does looking for treasures herself.

Nadeau said people come for the fun, but don’t realize what a great economic driver the Willington Flea Market is for their community.
“This brings people in from all over the region, and $10,000 filtered into a community this small is really a good thing,” said Nadeau. “What can be better than that?”

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