TACOMA, Wash. – Antiques aficionados, fans of local artisan crafts, book lovers, and bargain hunters alike can find treasures at the annual Women’s League Flea Market at University of Puget Sound.
Aptly known as the Flea Market and Fieldhouse Full of Awesome Stuff, the Saturday, March 18 event is expected to attract more than 4,500 visitors, with every dollar paid in admission fees earmarked for student scholarships.
Want to arrive ahead of the crowds? Early-bird shoppers will have a chance to enter at 8 a.m., prior to the market’s official opening at 9:30 a.m.
All treasure seekers are invited to attend the event between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. at Memorial Fieldhouse, near the corner of Union Avenue and N. 11th Street in Tacoma. Early entry at 8 a.m. is $10. From 9:30 a.m. on, admission is $5. Parking is free.
The market, now in its 49th year, is a spring tradition for many in the South Sound. More than 60 vendors’ booths offer antiques, junktique and collectibles, vintage and upcycled items, clothing and textiles, jewelry, books, repurposed treasures, home and garden items, creative and artisans’ goods, gourmet treats, and more.
And you never know what items will turn up for sale in the Women’s League’s famous bargain hunter’s paradise, Grandma’s Attic. Last year it was a huge trove of Christmas holiday items—including dozens of nutcrackers—and a collection of art glass. New in 2017 in the Women’s League’s Boutique will be a selection of jewelry and purses.
Returning this year, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., is a team of professional evaluators, who will examine your own treasures and value them, at a cost of $5 per item. Last year a shopper purchased a painting for $5 in Grandma’s Attic, and it was valued at $500 in the Trinket or Treasure? booth!
Grab-and-go lunch items will be available from the Women’s League Snack Bar. The league also hosts a raffle in the lobby, featuring baskets of goodies donated by market vendors.
Proceeds from the flea market go toward need-based scholarships for University of Puget Sound students. Last year Women’s League endowed scholarships provided $34,000 in financial aid to 15 talented Puget Sound students, while over the years nearly 350 students have received scholarships.
The market is the largest fundraising event organized each year by volunteers from the University of Puget Sound Women’s League. It has been held since 1968, after a league member traveled to Paris, France, and was inspired by a visit to a flea market there. The league was founded in 1900 and has supported the university and its community since that time—doing everything from making curtains for the dormitories to feeding students during the 1918 flu epidemic. In recent decades the group has focused on raising funds for scholarships.