After outgrowing its birthplace at the Graham & Co. hotel last summer, the Phoenicia Flea spent its second summer popping up at temporary locations like the Spruceton Inn and Westwind Orchard. This week, the Catskills-based monthly artisan crafts and local food fair announced it would take up residence at the newly minted Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center in Mount Tremper.
“Being nomadic this summer was something we had to do, but it turned out to be a fantastic experience,” founder and curator James Anthony said. “But now, we’re really happy to be in one spot.”
It’s a mutually beneficial relationship: Phoenicia Flea donated umbrellas for the center’s picnic area as part of the deal, and going forward, a percentage of the sales from each flea event will be donated to the nonprofit center, which opened earlier this summer, Anthony said.
The fair’s debut in its new home, 5096 Route 28, takes place over Labor Day weekend. It will run from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 5-6 at the CIC. The October flea is scheduled for Columbus Day weekend, Oct. 10-11, which will likely be the end of the 2015 season in the Catskills, Anthony said. (A holiday market in Brooklyn is in the works in November.)
Next year, the flea will return to the grounds of the center and maintain a similar monthly schedule, Anthony said. Having set digs will allow it to expand its vendor list, which has included local food purveyors like Saugerties-based Black-Eyed Suzie’s Upstate, Phoenicia Honey Co. and Wayside Cider out of Delhi. The flea’s handcrafted clothing, jewelry, housewares and other crafts produced in the Catskills and Hudson Valley have built its reputation as a destination-shopping and noshing event.
“We spent this summer adapting to each of our different host locations, but now that we have regular space to work with, we can grow it,” he said.
[UPDATE: See “Phoenicia Flea Withdraws from CIC,” published Sept. 1, 2015.]