In the heart of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, off of route 30, lies Abe?s Farmers
Market. The flea market covers approximately five acres of land. Hear you?ll find stands
overflowing all year with fresh vegetables, meats, herbs, baked goods, antiques, toys, and
crafts for people of all ages. The ground is covered with stones, and on a typical summer
day, dust is kicked up when you walk or drive around.
We visited on a Saturday in July when the temperature was a pleasant 84 degrees
and the sun was shining brightly in a cloudless blue sky. The weather seems to influence
the number of people at the flea market. It was such a lovely day, there were many people
prowling through the stalls. There is an inside market that is pleasantly cooler and stalls
were set up outside. It is amazing what is for sale at a flea market. Items are new, used
or antique. They range from flowers and plants to jewelry; tires to tools; record albums to
craft items, and many other items too numerous to mention.
Inside the market, the tables are piled high with different kinds of items. These sorts of
items continue behind and under all the tables. Signs are hung everywhere, saying what is
for sale or who is selling it and for how much. The aisles inside are narrow, because the
sale tables take up so much room. Some of the outside stalls are under a roof and some
are not covered. In bad weather, the merchants who set up outside are either out in the
elements or they don?t set up that day.
Many of the vendors have permanent stands that they set up every weekend. Some
vendors have regular customers who come back to see what new things are being offered.
But there are folks who just seem to stop by once and are gone, never to return. It is
possible for a person to set up a table just for one day. Instead of having a yard sale at
your home, you can, for a minimal fee, set up at Abe?s Farmers Market where you already
have many potential customers. There is a restaurant that serves all kinds of local food.
There are many booths for patrons to sit and eat or they can take the food with them as
they browse. The most famous food they have is shoofly pie; on Fridays, it sells for only
$1.00. We encountered sights, smells and sounds that were unique to Abe?s market.
There are many different types of people who visit the flea market. There are families who
come to shop for toys, clothes, and groceries. Antique lovers come to see what they can
purchase to add to their collections. The fragrance of flowers mixes with the aroma of
fresh baked pies, home grown pickles, and fried chicken. Babies are crying, people
laughing, customers and vendors discussing the price of an object. The most unique
sound that we heard was the people talking in many different languages.
Some weekend afternoon, when you have a couple free hours, travel to Lancaster
and visit Abe?s Farmer?s Market.
Michael Coffin “The way of Lancaster” june:1997