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Freedom Park swap meet draws crowd

Residents flocked to the indoor swap meet at Freedom Park in Tamuning on Saturday. Both vendors and shoppers were happy to be inside and out of the elements, all while supporting a good cause.

“This is the first indoor and I was like 'OK, I want to check it out because it’s raining,' and so we just wanted to see the businesses. I sometimes go to flea markets but not all the time because waking up. So seeing that it ends at 2 p.m., and flea markets, they (often) end at 9 a.m. So that’s (my) typical time to wake up,” said Kristine Guevarra, a customer who liked the convenience offered at the Freedom Park swap meet.

The swap meet was hosted by the Pacific War Museum Foundation, which has an existing lease at the Freedom Park to host bingo every night except Wednesdays.

“We sat down and thought, 'This is a great facility. We pay rent. Why not try to use it during the day?' So this was our first attempt at raising more funds. We are trying to build and move the John Gerber’s Pacific War Museum from Adelup to the six buildings here,” said Janet Gerber Calvo, secretary and treasurer for the Pacific War Museum Foundation.

Over 100 tables were sold for the first day of the event on Saturday. Organizers have planned to hold the event on the last Saturday of the month for the foreseeable future.

“Some people sold out of their wares within the first couple of hours. A lot of people still have things, but for the most part, I walked around and met with a lot of them and they were very pleased with the event. I think we will see a lot of these people return,” Calvo said. “I know that the food truck people are definitely going to come back. They are asking for the same spot, so they did well, it was a nice addition to this swap meet.”

Vendors like KC Creations, owned by Cheryl Guyton, said they would be back.

“I try to do at least once a month because it takes a little time to build up inventory,” Guyton said. “I definitely enjoy the indoor pop-ups versus the outdoors. This is really good because it’s indoors, there’s AC and it’s a big space.”

Guyton, who specializes in homemade jewelry, agreed that the event was successful in bringing out the crowd.

“I think it’s great. I think it was a pretty good turnout for the first time, so I think next time it's going to be a lot busier,” Guyton said. “Now that the word is going to spread I think a lot more people are going to come out.”

The swamp meet isn’t just open to small business owners, it’s also open to those who want to get rid of previously owned items.

“Anyone, you guys want to clean your closets out, rent a table and bring your stuff,” Calvo said.

“It’s closed, it's air con, it's very convenient for us. Not like the old flea market, if it rains, it’s muddy,” said Jason Estrellado, who normally attends the flea market to sell his hobby items. “These are just my hobbies. Most of my customers they are into hobbies also. I have bikes, airsoft, and drones. It was a good turnout. I sold some of my stuff. I am getting my business permit this week.”

He said participating in the swap meet helped him understand what customers are looking for as he embarks on the path as a small business owner.

The event was hosted by the Pacific War Museum Foundation, which is using the swap meet to generate funding to relocate the John Gerber Museum. The swap meet is just one of the fundraising activities organizers hope will help accomplish their goal of continuing John Gerber’s legacy.

There are plans to expand the swap meet to include the sale of local produce and plants.

Tables can be reserved for $25, and the funds obtained from vendor reservations will go to the Pacific War Museum Foundation. For more information on how to reserve a booth, contact the Pacific War Museum Foundation.

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