May 3, 2017: May Is For Markets!


Exhibitors from The Flea Market at Eastern Market (FMEM) on Capitol Hill will anchor the season four roll out of "SPARKET - A Creative Markett," 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow, Thursday, May 4, in Crystal City, Arlington, VA. Among those expected are market returnees Rayhart Art, voted City Paper's 2017 runner-up for Best Visual Artist; and Arlington resident Tom Rall, who brings an eclectic mix of antique prints and contemporary art pottery. Both have proven popular in previous years.

Also returning is Chandra Clark Designs, which is offering a special 50% discount at the link. Look too for Katie Meek, a graduate of Marymount University in Arlington, with meekly yours, innovative drawing.

They will be joined at the lunch time market by other select exhibitors offering an array of arts, crafts, imports, etc. "We expect this season to be our most successful yet," said Michael Berman, President of Diverse Markets Management (DMM), the DC company which manages both markets. "We've switched the day to Thursdays to overlap with a food truck event, which will share the site. And that should improve the synergy with the lunch crowd."

Both events are located along Crystal Drive. The trucks will be parked in the lot adjacent to S 18th Street. And Sparket will set up on the wide shaded sidewalk stretching toward S 20th Street. As an additional draw, live-music will be part of the programming mix.

The market is a collaborative effort with the Crystal City BID. Crystal City, Arlington's largest downtown, boasts excellent demographics.

Spring SPARKET will run every Thursday through June 29. And Fall SPARKET will run Thursdays from September 7 through November 16. 

For more information, see the DMM web page here.   


Berman also announced that FMEM will be among the sponsors and participants in a new event, Market Week, among the first projects of the newly-created Eastern Market Main Street (EMMS), which will begin Sunday, May 14.
A recent EMMS announcement stated: "The commercial corridor surrounding Eastern Market represents a unique blend of the historic and the modern, from the Market itself completed in 1873 to the new development at 700 Penn. This cornerstone of Capitol Hill's business district offers shopping, dining, and entertainment for everyone. To promote this variety and diversity, EMMS will host Market Week, a week-long celebration designed to showcase the businesses, merchants, and vendors in our corridor. Specials and events from restaurants and retailers during the week will culminate in an all-day festival and a ticketed event on Sunday, May 21st!

"Start the week off by picking up a Market Week Passport at the Market Week Headquarters (701 North Carolina Avenue SE) or at participating businesses beginning May 14. Use your Passport during Market Week and collect stamps to support neighborhood businesses. Turn in your Passport at the Market Week Headquarters on May 20 and 21 to win fabulous prizes.
"And the fun doesn't stop there! Join EMMS for a "night out" on May 21 at Night at the Market. Enjoy small bites, wine and beer, live music, and more - all in the historic Eastern Market North Hall. Get your tickets here."
Berman said customers who spend $25 with exhibitors at the weekly flea market, located on 7th Street SE between C Street SE and Pennsylvania Ave SE, on either May 14 or 21 will qualify for the prize drawing. He said the stamp can be obtained with proof of purchase at the Market Week Headquarters.


Berman also announced "significant movement on the long-term future of the flea market!" Nearing completion of negotiations, he said he expects DMM "will shortly sign" a license with 700 Penn LP to occupy a portion of the space lost adjacent to a former school after construction on a new mixed-use development began there near the end of May 2015.
"It's been a pleasure working with 700 Penn throughout the construction process because the developer recognizes the importance of our 35-year market to the community," Berman continued, "and I expect we'll sign soon, perhaps by the end of this week."

He said the license will commence when the space, including a new street through the project and adjacent plaza area, is finished, projected for late summer occupancy by the flea market.
In the meantime, he said DMM will also ask to extend its license to operate on Seventh Street SE. "That expires at the end of July and we'll be asking the City's Department of General Services for renewal of the license," he said.
"Certainly, it is our expectation to complete these processes. And that will almost get us back to our former footprint in the neighborhood," he concluded.