Saturday, October 20, 2018

After 25 years, the Osceola Flea Market is still going strong

Osceola Flea Market

The Osceola Flea Market in 1986. (click to enlarge)

It’s been 25 years since the first opening day at the Osceola Flea and Farmers’ Market in Kissimmee, Fla., and after two and a half decades, the crowds keep coming. As it said on the market’s first billboard, and as it still says on the one shoppers see today, the swap meet has long prided itself on being “a real flea market.”

“We’re about 20 miles from DisneyWorld, here since 1986,” says general manager Monique Cupolo. “We have over 900 booths under roof, and an open air garage sale section as well.” The market features free admission, free parking, karaoke on Fridays and Saturdays, and live bands every Sunday. “We bring in RV shows, a circus, and other monthly events,” adds Cupolo.

The market has been operated by the same partners for all that time. It was founded by Frank Buonauro, a community leader and a past president of the National Flea Market Association, who is still active in running the place. For years, Buonauro gave NFMA seminars on how to get started in the industry. He and his wife, Judy, have also been active in humanitarian causes, especially suicide prevention.

The market features a wide range of merchandise, from antiques to produce to new merchandise. A vendor booth costs $25 per day for new or used items, and $15 per day in the garage sale area. Those who sign up for a month receive a discounted $240 rate. For more information, check out the market’s Web site or call (407) 846-2811.

Osceola Flea and Farmers’ Market

Signs at the Osceola Flea and Farmers’ Market in 1986 (left) and 2011 (right).

Photo credits, with thanks: Osceola Flea and Farmers’ Market.

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