The LIC Flea & Food Holiday Market kicked off the season with a successful weekend full of holiday fun, as people shopped for friends and family, while indulging in food from all over the world.
Thousands of visitors, from near and far, came to the Holiday Market inside the warehouse, located at the corner of 5th Street and 46th Avenue. It is connected to the original lot, where last summer’s outdoor LIC Flea was held.
“We were thrilled to welcome thousands of shoppers to take advantage of local vendors selling holiday gifts and food at the Long Island City Holiday Market,” said Joshua Schneps, LIC Flea & Food president. “We look forward to the next two weeks. We offer one place to find a special gift for anyone in your life and it is a fun destination for the family.”
Many of LIC Flea’s favorite vendors made a return, along with some fresh new faces, totaling more than 75 unique vendors per day.
Kazuko Nagao, owner of LIC Flea vendor Oconomi who participated in the outdoor LIC Flea, said she saw a lot of regular customers return to the market — and also a large number of new visitors.
“We started off the holiday market really well. It was fantastic,” said Nagao, who will be serving Oconomiyaki, Japanese vegetable pancakes, both Saturday and Sunday. “A lot of people really liked the setup of the flea market because it is very spacious. I got a lot of good feedback from the customers.”
Another LIC Flea returning vendor is Clean Plate, owned by Chimere Ward, who will be serving a savory crab bread pudding and a smoked Buddha mac and cheese both days.
“It went very well. It was a lot of excitement,” said Ward. “The kids and adults had a great time and the vendors had a great time too.”
Vint and York Eyewear, founded by Dmitriy Israel and Larisa Ginzburg, also made an LIC Flea comeback selling vintage inspired eyewear with a modern twist.
“It was great because we got to see our existing customers and we gained some new ones,” said Ginzburg. “We saw the atmosphere was very warm and inviting, it was great.”
A brand new face who joined the LIC Flea family this holiday season is Drink More Good, founded by Jason Schuler, who will be at the market both Saturday and Sunday. This vendor is selling three different flavored soda syrups, in order to create “better-for-you soda,” or flavored seltzer.
“It was a really great experience for us,” said Schuler. “Just a really festive environment. People just seemed genuinely interested in what the local vendors had to offer.”
Schuler said he plans on being a part of the LIC Flea outdoor market, opening again in April.
Along with the array of unique vendors, LIC Flea also presented Dandy Wellington and His Band, who performed live at the market on Sunday. Inspired by the Big Band Era of jazz, Dandy Wellington has taken the sounds of the 1930s and 40s and created a world of well-dressed music.
JIB Lanes also provided a real bowling alley where visitors could try their best hand at getting a strike. For soccer fans, the New York Cosmos had professional players signing autographs and offering soccer activities. Other players are also expected to come down to the Flea.
After all of the different activities, when you need refreshments, the LIC Flea now features a bar, built specially for the Holiday Market and made of wood from the warehouse. The bar serves beer, wine and holiday cocktails.
Filled with the holiday spirit, hundreds of children lined up to take their pictures with Santa Claus. Saint Nick will be back this upcoming weekend from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The site is walking distance from the No. 7, E and G trains, and the LIC East River Ferry stop. It can also be accessed directly from Gantry Park’s walkway, along Anable Basin. A parking garage is available on 5th Street.
LIC Flea & Food Holiday Market will be open December 14, 15, 21, and 22 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.