The smell of kettle corn and chow mein wafted through the air. Excited voices buzzed over the tops of vendors' tents as customers and sellers bargained for good prices.
The first-ever Lodi flea market opened with big crowds and great deals Friday, and everything from shoes to snacks could be found as shoppers wove in and around vendors' tents at the Lodi Grape Festival Grounds.
People eyed jewelry stands and stopped at handbag booths when something caught their eye. Children even had the option of riding ponies in the back of the flea market if they wanted a break from their parents' shopping.
The Lodi Grape Festival Flea Market boasted roughly 100 vendors, among them veteran flea and street market food vendor Alvin Costa of Costa's Finest Kettle Corn.
Costa is a regular sight at the Downtown Lodi Farmers Market, where he is a vendor every week during the summer.
And while he will be serving kettle corn at the farmers market when it starts June 7, Costa said he will definitely be back at the flea market as well.
"I'll see you next week," he said with a smile.
For Gladys Duncan and Dolores Klipfel of Lodi, the market was a place to look around and spend some time out in the nice Friday morning weather.
Klipfel said she had spotted a purse that she liked, but neither woman had purchased anything yet.
"You never know," Klipfel said. "I come here to look around ... for deals."
George Alexander of Lodi also came to check out the flea market on Friday. But he was not a customer — he wanted to sign up to be a vendor next week.
Alexander sells cherries, fruit syrup and dried fruits in Lodi, and he thought the flea market would be a good place to try and sell more merchandise.
"I like it," he said of the market.
The flea market will be open every Friday through November, rain or shine, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Lodi Grape Festival Grounds, 413 E. Lockeford St. in Lodi.
Contact reporter Katie Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org.