GIGANTIC NAUTICAL FLEA MARKET RETURNS TO FOUNDERS PARK NEXT MONTH

Event-goers check out various vendors during the Upper Keys Rotary Club's Gigantic Nautical Flea Market at Founders Park in Islamorada in February 2020. DOUG FINGER/Keys Weekly

With a new layout to decrease congestion and to provide for wider aisles, Upper Keys Rotary’s 27th annual Gigantic Nautical Flea Market, presented by Keys Deck & Dock Supply, returns from a pandemic-forced year off to Founders Park in Islamorada, MM 87 on Saturday, Feb. 26 and Sunday, Feb. 27. 

Onsite parking available for those with a handicap permit. Free shuttle available from Coral Shores High School, MM 89, oceanside.

The all-outdoor event will take over nearly 12 acres of Founders Park with more than 300 vendors selling all things nautical, including boats, hot tubs, fishing and boating equipment, home and personal accessories, clothing and more.

“We are so excited to bring back this event after pivoting to a virtual fundraiser in 2021,” said Rotarian Frank Derfler. “The main goal of the event is raising money to support scholarships for local kids pursuing continuing education after high school, whether through college, trade school or certification. We’ve awarded more than $2.5 million in the nearly three decades of this event.”

As part of the event, a 50/50 raffle is being held with tickets on sale virtually only now through 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 27. The winner will be announced at 3 p.m. yet doesn’t need to be present to win. More details available at KeysRotary.org.

New for 2022 is the inclusion of food trucks throughout the park offering a variety of favorites from barbeque to the world-famous super fish sandwiches to specialty tastes including Thai, Mexican and Italian cuisine.

“Unfortunately, this year Rotary will not be able to offer the usual all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast nor the extensive lunch menu,” said Rotary President Terry Abel. “We needed to eliminate close working quarters for our volunteers and the congestion created with one food location due to ongoing pandemic concerns. We are hopeful attendees will appreciate the variety of offerings from the food trucks in multiple locations.”

Rotarians and volunteers will be selling water, sodas, beer and mixed drinks at various locations. Restrooms and ATMs are available on-site.

The event runs Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. A suggested per person $5 donation can be made at the entrance gates.

The Upper Keys Rotary, established in 1967, meets weekly at 12 noon at Capt. Craig’s Restaurant, MM 90. For more information about Upper Keys Rotary, check us out at KeysRotary.org, on Facebook at Upper Keys Rotary Nautical Flea Market or via Instagram at giganticnauticalmkt.com

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