Health guidelines in place, Dodge County Flea Market delivers 'sense of normality' amid pandemic

BEAVER DAM -- For the first time since the "Safer at Home" order began, the Dodge County Flea Market and Craft Fair returned to the county fairgrounds and was well attended on Saturday, May 23.

Organizers took extra steps to protect patrons from COVID-19 on the reopening day.

His jokes are in midseason form, but for vendor Doug Ninmann, the chance to deal at the market again was all he needed after weeks spent inside and away from people during the "Safer at Home" order.

Doug Ninmann

"I am selling treasures. Some people may call it junk," said Ninmann. "Everybody in the vendor world, or the ones I have contact with, were more than happy to come out and do this. They're itching to get out and be out in the public again."

From the looks of it, shoppers felt the same way that Ninmann did -- showing strong support for the 42 vendors that set up on Saturday.

Even as other counties continue limiting large events, trying to contain COVID-19, Maggie Drewa volunteers with Frosty's Animal Rescue which organizes the event as a fundraiser.

"This kind of brings a sense of normality back into people's lives," said Drewa.

Though Dodge County has not restrictive health order in place, the market followed the health department's recommended guidelines. Those guidelines included wearing masks, offering hand sanitizer and encouraging social distancing.

Dodge County Flea Market and Craft Fair

Maggie Drewa

"We're doing our very best to make sure that we cover the bases and offer things for them so that they feel safe when they can come shop," Drewa said.

Shoppers and vendors alike hoping some fresh air and a little secondhand shopping can provide a mental break for all involved.

The market, which is held monthly, will return on June 20.