LOUISVILLE, Ky. — There are more than 400 vendors back at the Kentucky Flea Market's Memorial Day weekend event at the Kentucky Expo Center selling all sorts of unique wares, but the thing catching most people's eyes this year are the people.
"This is our first show of December 2019 so it was like, oh, how do we do this again?" Reda Duke, the owner of Reda's T-Shirts Custom Embroidery, said.
Like most events around the country, the Kentucky Flea Market had to cancel last year's event due to the coronavirus pandemic. This year, the event organizer said there are fewer vendors that are more spread out to encourage distancing, but with loosening restrictions on masks and gathering, these vendors and customers are happy to see things getting back to normal.
"I've been itching to get back on the road and do what we do," Monk Seelye, the owner of Funky Monkey's Chainsaw Art, said.
"Everybody that does this, we call it our flea market family so sure, we missed everybody," Duke said.
Just across the hall from the flea market is a similar story with the Louisville Tattoo Arts Convention also back in town after a one-year hiatus, bringing a few hundred artists and vendors for the weekend-long event.
"It's a family reunion for us every weekend," Carl Murray, the host of the event who goes by "Dr. Blasphemy," said. "A lot of these artists travel all year long and we all sat home for 14 months."
Like everyone else, they are happy to see things slowly getting back to normal.
"People that come out year after year are coming up to us with big hugs and smiles, and you can see them smile because we're not wearing a mask anymore," Murray said.