Euphoria, a flea market that has drawn huge crowds to Arlington’s normally quiet Barcroft neighborhood, went so viral on the social media app TikTok that it’s now on hold here while its founder figures out how to handle the newfound popularity.
The market was launched by Washington-Lee (now Washington-Liberty) High School graduate Fabricio Gamarra and features vintage sneakers, t-shirts and other carefully-curated items.
For four consecutive months, 20-year-old Gamarra got away with hosting Euphoria, which he describes as a “pop-up vintage market,” with his friend and business partner Chris Claure out of a parking lot on S. Buchanan Street in Barcroft. The market features Gamarra’s own vintage brand, Forbiidden Vintage, along with roughly a dozen local sellers selling everything from high-end streetwear to vintage sunglasses. And between the third and fourth event, he says, Euphoria’s popularity exploded.
“I woke up one morning to my friends texting me to check my phone, and I couldn’t believe it,” Gamarra said. “I thought, ‘Is this really happening?”
As it turns out, a friend of Claure who attended the Sept. 6 flea market posted about it on the popular short-form video app. The video has so far attracted more than 100,000 likes, in addition to thousands of comments like “Hold up Virginia? I’m going right now!” and “Finally something good in the DMV area.”
As of today, the video has more than 360,000 views.
Word caught on by the next Euphoria market, on Oct. 4. According to Gamarra, the line to enter stretched a mile long and people were lining up to enter all day. The crowd size and increased traffic also attracted the attention of the neighbors. Even though social distancing was in place and face masks were required, Gamarra says the Arlington County Police Department was alerted to the event.
“There are some safety issues we need to make sure are taken care of before we can have another market in Arlington, yeah,” Gamarra said. “We’re talking to the county to figure out what we can do. I’ve lived in Arlington since I was three and I believe it’s a great market to attract people from both Maryland, D.C., and Virginia. I want to make sure these events can continue here.”
A video of the October market, showing off the long lines and the collection of unique clothing, also went viral on TikTok. It has received nearly 40,000 likes since it was posted.
For now, Gamarra says the next market is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 15 in Silver Spring, Maryland, but he hopes to make it back to Arlington soon.
“Fingers are crossed we can do something bigger and better in Arlington, but of course, safety has to be the first priority,” he said.
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Photo via Yelp
The Arlington County Board is scheduled to consider a use permit for two new biweekly markets at its Saturday meeting. The outdoor markets would be held on alternating Saturdays and Sundays in the parking lot of the Wells Fargo Bank at 3140 Washington Blvd, a block and a half from the Clarendon Metro station.
Organized by the Clarendon Alliance, one of the biweekly markets will be called the Spark Market. It’s described as a “juried art market” for artists and designers. The market is being managed by Jessica Blaszczak, who ran the former Ballston Arts Market, and will be open on Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. starting June 8, should the use permit be approved.
The second of the markets — which hopes to launch on Saturday, May 31 — will be called the Clarendon Night Market. Open, at least initially, from 3:00 to 9:00 p.m., the market could be the first of its kind in the D.C. area.
“We’re pretty sure this is the first night market in the region,” market organizer Michael Berman told ARLnow.com today. “We’re really looking forward to coming to the Clarendon area. We think it’s a pretty dynamic intersection right there and… we’ve been looking at night markets for awhile.”
The market will have lights to add illumination and ambiance after dark. Berman, whose management firm also runs the well-known Eastern Market flea market, expects to sign up vendors who will sell a mix of jewelry, photography, paintings, handmade crafts, collectibles, vintage items and furniture.
Also expected at the market, in keeping with the gastronomic focus of many Asian night markets: specialty food vendors selling take-home food like hand-baked pies, and perhaps grab-and-go food from local restaurants.
Not in the offing, even though it seems a natural fit: food trucks. Berman says he doesn’t want to drive away business from Clarendon restaurants.
“We think it’s going to be cool,” Clarendon Alliance Executive Director Matt Hussman said. “It’s hard to start a brand new market, so it might be a bit slow to start, but we’re doing out best.”
The permit being considered by the Board would allow the markets to run from April to December. Should the markets prove popular, however, the Alliance may seek approval to operate the market year-round. Likewise, Hussman said, if the night market is successful organizers may seek permission to end a bit later than 9:00 p.m.
It’s going to be an especially busy Saturday for bargain-hunters. Here’s a chronology of where to get good deals and score some free stuff.
7:00 a.m. — The weekly Arlington Civitan flea market starts the morning bright and early. About 150 vendors will be selling their wares until 1:30 p.m. in the parking garage between I-66 and Washington-Lee High School.
8:00 a.m. — The Arlington Farmer’s Market will take place, as it does every Saturday, in the parking lot across from the county courthouse from 8:00 to noon. Affordable fresh food and free samples abound.
9:00 a.m. — Hunt for hidden gems at the Aurora Hills Senior Center Trash ‘n’ Treasure Sale. One person’s old, unwanted piece of junk may be another’s cherished antique. The Aurora Hills Branch Library will also take part, selling books and music CDs as part of their ongoing Friends Sale.
10:00 a.m. — Boutique pet store Wylie Wagg is holding a grand opening celebration for its new Clarendon store. Located in the former a.k.a. spot storefront at 2509 Franklin Road, next to the Java Shack, Wagg will be offering a 10 percent store-wide discount and a chance to win a $200 shopping spree. There will also be free doggie “smoothies” while supplies last, from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
11:00 a.m. — Clarendon’s new frozen yogurt mecca, Red Mango, will also be celebrating its grand opening on Saturday. The store (at 2831 Clarendon Boulevard) will be giving away free froyo from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. There will also be free t-shirts for the first 100 customers.
2:00 p.m. — Join the Washington Shakespeare Company for a “pay-what-you-can” showing of “Every Young Woman’s Desire.” You decide how much you want to pay to see the show, a psychological thriller that examines the brutality of unchecked power. Presented at the Clark Street Playhouse (601 S. Clark Street).
See our events calendar for more details and for more things to do this weekend.
If you want to escape to solemnity of this Good Friday, the famous Raspberry Brothers will be razzing on the 1980s classic “Karate Kid.” Think “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” but live and in person. That’s happening at 9:45 tonight at the Arlington Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike).
On Saturday at 10:00 a.m., the Barcroft community will be holding its annual Easter egg hunt at 800 S. Buchanan Street. Attendees are advised to bring a baked good.
For adults who are jealous of the kids stuffing their baskets with Easter goodies, the Arlington flea market (15th and N. Quincy Streets) and the Courthouse farmer’s market (North Courthouse Rd. and N. 14th St.) will be open Saturday morning. The gorgeous weather is sure to attract a big crowd.
Finally, for those celebrating Easter on Sunday, early risers will be treated to an amazing sunrise service at Arlington National Cemetery’s Memorial Amphitheater. The service is free, but you’ll need to get there at 6:00 a.m.
For more fun things to do, check out our events calendar.
Photo courtesy Stacey Viera.