Come one, come all — it's almost time for the 30th annual Boy Scout Flea Market. It will be Saturday, April 26, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at 13955 Metrotech Drive, across from the K-mart, in Chantilly.
It's put on by Troop 893 which meets at Centreville United Methodist Church and is led by Scoutmaster Hondo Davids. Most importantly, it's the one-and-only fund-raiser to support this troop of 130 Scouts.
"Get there early to have the best selection," advises event spokeswoman Kay Leon of Sully Station. "It's first come, first served."
It's the flea market's second year at this indoor location and, said Leon — who found this spot along with Sue Egloff of Manorgate, "We really like it because we never have to worry about the rain, and there's plenty of free parking. And things are better organized here — set up more like a store."
Bargains abound at the flea market. Customers will find great deals on furniture, bikes, sporting goods, electronics, lawnmowers, baby items, toys, appliances, household goods, and men's, women's and children's clothing, plus miscellaneous "white elephants." And a sailboat and cars — a jaguar! — will be auctioned off.
Praising this year's event chairman, Les Duvall of Manorgate, for all his hard work, Leon also noted that "it wouldn't be possible without the generosity of Kathy Holstrom, owner of Dani's Duds, which lets us use this space for our event."
Although it consumes five springtime Saturdays of its volunteers, Leon said it's a great way to bring the community together. "It's actually a lot of fun," she said. "Moms, dads and kids all come help with the many hours of sorting, the three weekends of [item] pickups and the flyer drops to 20,000 homes in the local area. You meet lots of nice people."
Volunteers begin working, two months in advance, and some 50 people play key roles in making it a success. They include those who shine the bicycles, fix the lawnmowers, sort the clothes and price everything. "And we thank the hundreds and hundreds of people who wait all year for this and then come and buy things," added Leon.
A special area will hold customers' purchases so they don't have to lug them around while they shop. And for a nominal charge, delivery of furniture and large appliances may be arranged, that day.
Donations of items for sale are still being accepted. People may drop them off, this Saturday, April 19, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., at the site. They must be in working condition, and all donations are tax-deductible. Volunteers will help unload them at the site and will provide receipts. For more information, call the hotline, 703-222-2333.
"We look forward to yet another successful flea market and thank the community for its support," said Leon. "This money supports the troop for the coming year. It funds merit badges, training, classes and camperships for summer camp."