Bargain hunters turn out for marine flea market

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Organizers of the Dania (Fla.) Marine Flea Market say the March 19-22 event saw a 17 percent increase in attendance this year, despite record rainfall on the third day of the market.

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Specific numbers of attendees are not released, founder Al Behrendt told Soundings Trade Only. However, he noted, people were waiting in line for the show to open last Thursday.

“Sales were particularly strong on Thursday and Sunday,” Michelle Despreaux, of Dino North America, said in a statement. “There was little to take back to the plant.”

The flea market, now in its 31st year, was held at Dania Jai Alai, and more than 300 vendors were on hand, an increase of 27 percent from last year, Behrendt said.

The flea market provides an outlet for vendors from the United States and Canada to sell overstocked and used marine equipment as well as “scratch and dent” merchandise or products that are obsolete as a result of model or design changes.

Freedom Waters Foundation, which provides boating opportunities and marine-related education to people with disabilities and youth at risk, raised $10,000 through the sale of donated, used nautical items.

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