Famed Nashville flea market set to return following pandemic, with changes

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Operations at the Nashville Fairgrounds will start transitioning back to its tried-and-true traditions.

The COVID-19 overflow shelter located at the Fairgrounds Nashville has started the process of closing as Davidson County increases its vaccination levels, including those experiencing homelessness.

The current COVID-19 overflow shelter will schedule to close by July 1 depending on vaccination levels in Davidson County.

The Metro Public Health Department along with a number of other organizations continue their efforts to provide full access to the COVID-19 vaccine for the homeless community in Nashville.

“People are excited to get back into it,” said Scott Wallace, the director of sales, events, and marketing at The Fairgrounds Nashville. “The fairgrounds are just a great place to be and to have events so we’re happy to be able to get back to where we were.”

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While the COVID-19 shelter closes in phases, plans are in the works for the famous flea market to return late next month.

The Nashville Flea Market has been a Nashville tradition for more 50 years and prior to the pandemic, it was only canceled once due to inclement weather.

The Nashville Flea Market at The Fairgrounds Nashville is considered one of the top ten flea markets in the country, operating monthly drawing in half a million visitors annually.

“It’s a tradition here in Nashville and we’re excited about all the things happening at the fairgrounds,” Wallace said.

Wallace says it’s all pending approval from Metro Public Health, but the plan is to hold the flea market the last week in May. It would be an all-outdoor event with fewer venders and tickets.

“[The tickets are free] but people would have like a doctor’s appointment to come in at a certain window,” Wallace said.

Once shelter operations cease, the Nashville Fairgrounds will need around six to eight weeks to complete certain work that has been postponed due to the pandemic, repair any damage, and clean/sanitize the facility.

The Fairgrounds staff is looking forward to opening to indoor events as soon as possible. The target date for full reopening is September 1, 2021 but will work to phase in buildings as work is completed.

“We’re using that September date as a cushion to say we don’t know how much we have to do so we want to say we’re hoping behind hope that August first, the weekend of August, we can open one building and be able to have events out there indoors.”

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