HILLSVILLE, Va. — While Mount Airy seems to be the Mecca for visitors who come to this area to see the laid back peacefulness of Mayberry, the town of Hillsville will have the run on tourists this weekend for the 45th annual Hillsville Flea Market and Gun Show.
The Flea Market begins Friday and continues through Monday. Vendors start selling at 9 a.m. and most close up around 7 p.m. every day. Antique dealers, gun dealers and traders of all kinds make this one of the largest shows in the southeast. Hillsville claims it will draw more th an 500,000 visitors this Labor Day weekend, according to the flea market’s official website.
Vendors set up their tent shops down the streets, inside the massive VFW parking area, and throughout the surrounding fields. Surrounding the flea-market area are hundreds of yard sales which offer good deals to those who are looking for a bargain. Shoppers looking for antiques, furniture, vinyl records, books, baseball cards, coins, guns, comics, old pictures, army surplus, signs, clothes, gadgets, toys, knifes, collectibles, tools, socks and more, might just find what they are looking for at the flea market.
Hillsville hotels are booked full for the flea market days. Jimmy Shu, manager of Red Carpet Inn, said the hotel raises its prices for the two or three days of the Labor Day season — taking advantage of the influx of visitors.
The event is sponsored by VFW Grover King Post 1115.
Andrew Bowman, the VFW’s Flea Market manager, said that the Labor Day Flea Market and Gun Show is the VFW’s main source of fundraising, with the Memorial Day weekend flea market catching up in importance. He said that the VFW supports the community in many ways, aiding various organizations, little leagues and boy scout troops. However, the VFW still needs help and volunteers of its own to support the Labor and Memorial Day events, when it earns 99 percent of its yearly funding.
To find a good parking spot and to avoid traffic it is best to get an early start, Bowman said. The going rate for all day parking is around $5.
Reach Mondee Tilley at email@example.com or at 719-1930.