Delightful deals and tasty meals are in Lodi's future as the Grape Festival Grounds are set to host the city's first ever flea market.
Beginning May 4, bargain shoppers will be able to indulge in a myriad shopping opportunities, whether for Tupperware or tinsel for Christmas.
Organizer Chris Hernandez, who grew up traveling to flea markets in the early morning hours with his grandfather, said he is looking for a way to not only provide good deals to Lodi residents, but another avenue for family outings.
So far, Hernandez has about 15 vendors who are looking to sign up for the first day of the market — which is only three weeks away.
And though Hernandez has a great location — the Lodi Grape Festival Grounds — and a business license, he admitted a lot has yet to be done.
But he is not worried.
His website for the flea market, www.lodifleamarket.com, only went up a few days ago. It offers two sizes of spaces for vendors, and it promises everything from arts and crafts to free admission and parking.
Hernandez really is all about options.
"I want a little bit of everything," he said. "We are just focusing on getting the market started now, but we already have vendors clamoring to (be a part of it). There is this one guy who makes amazing, and I mean amazing, Chinese food."
Chinese food will not be the only food option available. Hernandez also hopes to attract vendors who can whip up a tasty taco, a mean meat dish or some other type of flea market foodie favorite.
The Lodi Grape Festival Flea Market will be the newest addition to an already established number of flea markets in and around the area.
Galt's flea market, which got its start in the 1950s as a farmers market, attracts roughly 400 vendors a week selling numerous items, from decor to dishes.
Held from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Tuesday and Wednesday, the Galt flea market can be found just off of C Street and Chabolla Avenue in Galt.
But will the new Lodi flea market be bad for Galt's business?
Galt City Manager Jason Behrmann is not worried.
Because Lodi's flea market will be held on a different day, he said the competition will be more with flea markets in Stockton, which also operate on Fridays.
"Other local flea markets are actually good for us since many of our vendors travel to other flea markets Thursday through Sunday. The closer they can stay to Galt on the other days, the better," he said.
Jaime Watts, executive director of the Downtown Lodi Business Partnership, said the flea market will be beneficial to business in Lodi.
She said it will keep people in town after the annual summer Downtown Lodi Farmers Market, which starts up June 7, and the more activity in Lodi, the better.
"Anything that brings more business and that is family-oriented in Lodi is great," she said.
Contact reporter Katie Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org.