It sprung up from a Facebook group and now The Children’s Marketplace takes place semi-annually in Penticton.
The two-day event, being held this weekend at the Penticton Curling Club, offers families the opportunity to buy affordable new and used items for their children. The marketplace ranges from clothes, books, toys and services all under one roof.
“We used to do this at the Days Inn and it was so packed no one could move. So we started doing it at the curling club and last time we had 500 people through the doors in one day,” said organizer Tracy Van Raes of the event that used to be called Penticton Parents Swap Meet.
“It is a pretty popular event because there is nothing else like it around here.”
For a $5 donation at the door, entrants get a hotdog and pop sponsored by Stutters Disaster Kleenup, with all proceeds to benefit the Have-A-Heart Radiothon. That money goes directly to the maternity and pediatrics ward at the Penticton Regional Hospital. Van Raes only sees the event continuing to grow.
“The economy plays a huge role as people are not as inclined to buy new anymore because kids grow out of things so quickly. There is good quality stuff out there that is for sale second-hand. It fills a huge need in our community,” said Van Raes.
There are 25 different sellers that have rented spaces each day, so Van Raes said each day has different items. There are also home-based entrepreneurs that have booked space such as children’s photographers, cupcake sellers and people who make children’s clothing. Family fun entertainment will also be on hand each day which was donated by Par-T-Perfect and Angel Babies.
The Children’s Marketplace organizers also always choose a children’s related charity to donate to. Besides the Have-A-Heart Radiothon, people are asked to help fill hampers by donating items to fill the shelves at local elementary schools for their breakfast program and the paper bag lunch program. These are available to kids that wouldn’t otherwise get breakfast at home or a lunch sent to school with them.
Van Raes said these groups rely heavily on donations and are in need of unopened boxes of cereal, fruit juice boxes, baking supplies for muffins, packages of oatmeal, individual packages of apple sauce, individual fruit cups, individually wrapped cracker packets, pasta, granola bars and disposable bowls, cups, spoons, forks and lunch bags.
If you cannot attend the event this weekend but wish to donate items on the wish list contact Van Raes at firstname.lastname@example.org for pick up. The Children’s Marketplace takes place Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Penticton Curling Club.