A new locally-focused antique and collectibles market is coming to Long Bridge Park next month.
Forever Grateful Market is set to take place on Saturday, September 3 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. outside of the now-year-old Long Bridge aquatic center in Crystal City. This will be the second time the market has been held there, with the first one taking place earlier in August.
Vendors confirmed include those selling art, automobilia, handcrafted items, sports cards, Hollywood memorabilia, and antique toys. More are likely to be added since vendors have until Sept. 2 to sign up.
The event’s organizers are local. Co-founder Anthony Allen is from Arlington, having grown up in Arlington Heights and attended Wakefield High School as well as Marymount University. In fact, Allen was part of the Wakefield High School basketball team that went to the state tournament in 2005.
He says he and the other co-founder, Tiffanie Cross, are both collectors themselves, with Allen collecting sports memorabilia. They saw a need for a market in Arlington that was “family-friendly and inclusive” for vendors and shoppers alike.
At the first market back on Aug. 13, Allen said, around 1,500 to 2,000 people attended and about 25 vendors were selling items.
“It was a huge turnout. We weren’t sure if that location [would attract] that many people,” said Allen. “But what we found out… was that we got a lot of people who were in traffic going to D.C. […] and saw a whole line of white tents.”
Allen expects that this month’s market will be even bigger with more attendees and vendors. This time around, Allen and Cross are hosting a back-to-school giveaway and a backpack collection drive, with the hopes of attendees donating 1,000 backpacks to elementary and middle schools in Arlington.
The two co-founders say they have come to an agreement with the county to host the Forever Grateful Market outside of the aquatic center on a regular basis going forward. There are currently four more markets scheduled for 2022 including October 1, either October 29 or 30, November 19, and December 17.
The ultimate goal is to open a “Forever Grateful Emporium,” said Allen, a dedicated brick-and-mortar space, potentially in Arlington, where they can host a market every day. They are already taking vendor applications for it.
For the moment, Allen is happy that the county is providing space in an easily-accessible location for the antique and collectible market, providing vendors and shoppers alike a place to sell and find unique items.
“We want to make sure that no one really feels left out. You can either join us as an attendee or join us as a vendor,” he said. “Either way, we’re going to make space for you.”
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