HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - From the looks of it, dozens of attics, basements and garages have gotten a good cleaning since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold seven months ago.
That would help to explain the variety of items for sale at Saturday's outdoor flea market sponsored by the Hillsborough Department of Parks and Recreation.
Vendors arrived as the sun was rising at the Willow Road recreational complex and had their display set up by 8 a.m. when the early birds arrived. A steady stream of browsers and buyers came and went until closing time at noon.
Many of the vendors just wanted to make a few dollars and rid themselves of kids' toys, clothes-too-small, neglected tableware, forgotten wedding gifts, camping gear, fishing tackle, bicycles, sportswear and a long list of miscellaneous items.
There were several flea market "veterans," vendors whose merchandise was reflective of the weekend flea market circuit - costume jewelry, military items, tabletop and mantle clocks, post-WWII Japanese porcelain marked Occupied Japan, hammered aluminum serving trays popular in the 1950s, baseball cards, walking sticks, record albums and toys.
Flea market "newbies" Carol Klein and Jennifer Meade of Califon assembled a display of several hundred COVID-19 facemasks they've stitched together on their sewing machines during the course of the pandemic available in three sizes, adults, kids 6-10 and kids 2-5.
C&J Face Masks and many of the other vendors expect to return for the remaining two flea markets at the same location on Oct. 17 and 24.
Vendors interested in signing up to sell at the upcoming flea markets can call the recreation department at (908) 369-3880.