The empty space just adjacent to the popular Erskine Grill was taken up with vendors from across the town and surrounding areas; their wares: anything from household items to baked goodies.
As a steady stream of customers at the Erskine Flea Market has made it a regular weekend fixture, and with Uncle Tim’s Treats keeping the visitors well looked after, it has become a great place to look for some bargains over weekends.
“Our flea market serves as entertainment for some, while for others it is a place to sell items such as garage sale items, household knickknacks, art collectibles, anything lawful goes,” said Phil Prentice, owner-operator of the Erskine Flea Market. “It is a way of giving our community a little more exposure and recognition and also an opportunity to draw folks passing by.”
According to Prentice, the vendors are mostly from a 50-km radius of Erskine, specializing in hobby items, handmade goods and antiques, though a lot of the people have expressed interest in sports memorabilia.
“We had some space that we wanted to use and the idea of having a communal venture such as a flea market was quite appealing,” added Prentice. “So we applied for a license and received approval from the County of Stettler, and they were so helpful and encouraging in this endeavour; we were also granted permission for signage from Alberta Transportation and the county.”
Prentice said that although there have only been a handful of vendors so far, the kind of goods that they have stocked have drawn crowds every weekend and it has been growing.
“The market has been very well attended so far and the interest in the community has been amazing, with well over 500 visitors every weekend throughout the day,” explained Prentice. “Our vendors are hard-working, reliable, honest and friendly people, who take great care of our visitors, so we help them in any way we can and just work well together to make it a great experience for our customers and community.”
Also serving the visitors and vendors is Uncle Tim’s Treats run by Judy Walgenbach and Real Courcelles who started their cozy little trailer full of goodies with a small sum of funds left to them by Walgenbach’s Uncle Tim.
“It was really a small sum of money but enough for us to invest in a slushie machine and cotton candy machine,” said Real Courcelles. “For us it is not how much we make but all about the smiles that we see when we hand a slushie or cotton candy to kids, the joy is in seeing them light up and we have no regrets.”
Uncle Tim’s Treats serve a huge variety of food items from hot dogs to taco in a bag and different beverages, both hot and cold, besides of course slushie and cotton candy.
“Vivian and I would like to thank our vendors and visitors and all the fine people from Erskine and surrounding areas, and of course the County of Stettler for their support,” said Prentice. “We’ve had 2,000 visitors in total so far and we hope to get more.”