Funky Flea Bids Farewell As Sale Season Heats Up

Syracuse Flea Markets

Popular swap meet ends its four year run

Organizers of the Funky Flea market recently publicized the end of the annual bazaar on their blog.

“After a four year run of 5 successful Funky Fleas, we have decided to say a fond farewell to this annual event,” the post announced.

The flea market with a “funky vibe,” organized by Theresa Barry and Briana Kohlbrenner, set up shop for 70+ vendors to sell second hand items once a year. “Collectibles, re-purposed furniture, vintage wares” and other what-not’s were welcome as long as the items were not new.

Both Barry and Kohlbrenner come from retail backgrounds. Barry is the former owner of Armory Square favorite “Razzberry” and Kohlbrenner is the former owner of “Craft Chemistry” (now Echo, located at 745 North Salina St.)

“We like to change things a lot,” said Kohlbrenner, “being at the same location got a little boring for us.”

Theresa Barry & Brianna Kohlbrenner organized the Funky Flea in Syracuse for four years.  Photo:

Theresa Barry & Brianna Kohlbrenner organized the Funky Flea in Syracuse.

Modeled after New York City’s Brooklyn Flea and Artists & Fleas, the bric-a-brac event steadily became a social centerpoint of the summer season. An estimated 2500-2800 browsers were at the last Funky Flea in June of 2014. Local foodies like Sweet Praxis, Recess Coffee, Bacon Bandits and others nourished the crowds with nosh while local musicians provided tunes for the crowd.

The event was held at the Everson Museum outdoor plaza.

“I can see how its sad news to hear, but it took a lot of work on the organizational side of things and we were both a little burnt out with the time of year – and its a little more difficult to organize an outdoor market,” said Kohlbrenner.

Urban Market

The Funky Flea market was held held at the Everson Museum outdoor plaza.

While the fountain plaza located beside the Everson Museum is a favorite spot for skate boarders, fountain waders and flea market strollers, it is also a county owned space.

“Everson plaza is owned by the county, and for the first couple years we would organize the paperwork and deposit through the county for a $250 fee,” said Kohlbrenner. “Last year, the OnCenter (SMG) took over managing the property and the fee jumped to $750 – that kind of left a bad taste in our mouths.”

The OnCenter and other county facilities are managed by SMG, a private facilities and venue management company based out of Philadelphia.

Ending the funky flea on a high note bends the limelight in the direction of other flea markets and urban-styled shopping events that kick off in spring and run through the summer and fall throughout Central New York.

Artist Tommy Lincoln selling his art at the SALT Market.  Photo:

Artist Tommy Lincoln selling his art at the SALT Market.

The SALT Market, an indoor urban market also organized by Kohlbrenner and a group that calls themselves “The Salty Ladies” (Vanessa Rose, Stasya Erickson and Courtney Rile) is re-blossoming for a 6th installment this spring.

“Salt Market is handmade, whereas the funky flea is mostly vintage/flea market, used wares,” added Kohlbrenner, “the Salt Market is juried/curated and the funky flea is pretty much anyone who wanted to be in it.”

Each year, the SALT Market occurs at a different location and with different vendors. The next exchange will take place May 1 – 2 at the St. Clare Theatre (840 North Salina St.).

Applications for vendors for the spring show are now closed, but will re-open in June for the autumn SALT sale taking place on Saturday, October 24.

Flea Market

City Market kicks off on May 10 and runs the second Sunday of each month in Armory Square, Syracuse.

City Market, in Armory Square, will take place on Mother’s Day, May 10 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.. Organized by Bruce Block (formerly of Armory’s “Antiques Underground”) we can expect to see vintage treasures, jewelry, furniture, art, hand-made goods and more.

The first City Market occurred in Armory Square on September 14, 2014. Block plans to host City Market on the second Sunday of each month through October.

“Syracuse is becoming an Urban environment again. It started many years ago with the revitalization of Armory Square and now with all the new apartments downtown it’s exploding,” Block responded in an email. “I think the Funky Flea was wonderful. We’re looking to expand its base. I would think any of the Funky Flea Vendors would fit right in.”

Those interested in selling their wares at City Market can email [email protected] for an application and particulars.

“My goal is to be able to create a somewhat same yet changing environment.” said Block.

Each month that City Market takes place, shoppers can expect to pick through different items.

“We will have some weeks with special things happening. I have already planned a week with the promoters of fashion week,” said Block, “We’re thinking of vintage clothing, maybe a vinyl weekend or other specialty interests.”

WATCH: City Market

The Sunday flea at the CNY Regional Market still pulls a vibrant weekly crowd, but is distinctly different than urban markets like the SALT Market, City Market or the former Funky Flea.

“We’re looking for a more creative view. It’s not just about selling what you find, but finding things with a perspective.” said Block. “We want to attract vendors who maybe make their own things out of industrial objects, or who sell mid-century modern items and we will have interesting antiques and folk art. I will personally be showing jewelry collected from my travels and there will also be an assortment of local artists.”

For upcoming fleas, markets and sales happening in Central New York – See Below:

Vintage Pop-Up
A unique evening of art and shopping at the Everson Museum
Thursday April 23
6-8 p.m.

Syracuse’s Largest Indoor Garage Sale
Saturday April 25
Shoppingtown Mall
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

SALT Market
Friday May 1: 5:00-9:00 p.m.
Saturday May 2: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
St. Clare Theatre: 840 North Salina St.

City Market
Starting Sunday May 10
(and the second Sunday of each month through October)
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Armory Square

CNY Regional Market Flea
Sundays (year round)
7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
2100 Park St.

At The Farm Antiques & Flea Market
Wed-Fri.  Noon-5 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

9655 Brewerton Road, Brewerton

Route 90, 50 Mile Garage Sale (Montezuma to Homer)
Saturday July 25 – 26
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Do you know of any other flea markets or urban markets happening in CNY soon? Let us know in the comment section below or by emailing us – HERE




Go Home

[fbcomments url="" width="100%" count="on"]
To Top