The Kern County Museum gets people out of the house with a flea market

Gary Moles’s stall with a skeleton selfie station.

Logan Odneal, Reporter

The Kern County Museum hosted its bi-annual flea market fundraiser Sunday, Oct. 4th.
The museum administration held a fundraiser in the form of a flea market. Attendees were charged five dollars admission to the grounds where the event was held. Many vendors were small businesses or had a stall at a local antique mall.
Social distancing was strongly encouraged and masks were mandatory. Walking in, one person was sitting by the entrance to the courtyard where people pay admission, and another at the entrance to the grounds enforcing mask-wearing.
A large theme with attendees and vendors was getting out and escaping quarantine.
Vendor Gary Moles said “traffic has been great this year the weather is nice and people want to go out and do something normal, I just wish we could be out here without these masks” Moles continued “attendance is up a little from previous years because people want a break from the quarantine”.
In addition to antique swag vendors, there were a few art stalls. Kimberly Pitcher had flower pots painted to look like various pop culture characters and sports stars. The aunt and niece duo of Toni Schulte and Allison Beitzall-Mendiola had a more traditional art booth with horror-themed art pieces as well as stained glass works made.
Confessing to having been vendors at a few events but relatively new to being event vendors, Beitzall-Mendiola and Schulte were surprised by the large attendance during the pandemic but contributed it to escaping the lockdowns.
When talking about a three-dimensional stained-glass piece, Schulte said that she made it in a program where prison inmates write poetry and artist make something out of their interpretations of the poem.
Attendees Tina Rathburn and her young daughter June came to the flea market to get out of the house. Rathburn already likes antiquing, so the flea market wasn’t a hard sell. She did have mixed feelings because she is concerned about being in a large crowd during a pandemic but was reassured by the strict masking rules.
Family man George Diaz was less interested in antiquing but came out because his wife wanted to go out and do something and it was great to get the kids out of the house because it was starting to get a little claustrophobic. His one complaint is that there wasn’t any food, there were a few snack vendors but no one sold anything more substantial than a snow cone.
The Kern County Museum provided a great opportunity for the community to escape outside and have some normal fun again.

Donna Pitcher at her booth, Plants for You, showing off and selling her plants at the Village Outdoor Flea Market on Sunday Oct. 4. (Selena Paiz)

The mission at Kern County booth set up at The Village Flea Outdoor Market on Sunday Oct. 4. (Selena Paiz)
Goers of The Village Flea Outdoor Market looking at antiques on Sunday Oct. 4. (Selena Paiz)
Gary Moles posing with a sign he just sold at his booth at The Village Outdoor flea Market on Sunday Oct. 4.
Gary Moles’s stall with a skeleton selfie station. (Logan Odneal )
Kimberly Pitcher’s painted pots. (Logan Odneal)
Gary Moles in his stall selling antiques to attendees. (Logan Odneal)
People exploring some of the Kern County Museum’s outdoor exhibits (Logan Odneal)
Toni Schultze’s prisoner poem art piece. (Logan Odneal)
Artists Toni Schultze (right) and her niece Allison Beitzall-Mendiola (Left) at their stall. (Logan Odneal)