Kentucky Bassmasters Club will host its fifth annual Sportsman’s Swap Meet from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. February 20 at the Lyon Convention Center in Lee S. Jones Park in Eddyville.
Nick Coleman, club president, said he has 15 to 20 vendors already registered for space. “I haven’t verified every one of them,” he said in a Saturday phone interview. “In the past couple of years, we’ve had more than 30 vendors at the event. They typically will book within two weeks of the event — we’ll start confirming everybody in the next weeks. We should kick off our radio ads … on some of the local networks around the area as well.”
Coleman said though the event is scheduled for the convention center, he also has rented the Lee S. Jones building to ensure adequate space.
“It will be in both buildings,” he said. “… We bleed over into the smaller building just depending on how many (vendors) we have and how far apart we need to space them.”
Because of the COVID 19 pandemic, Coleman is spacing vendors at distances recommended by the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.
“We’ll have masks there available at the door, and we’ll try to space everybody out as best we can to follow those guidelines,” he said, noting he also is recommending that vendors and shoppers wear masks. “We recommend whatever is recommended by the guidelines of the state,” he said. “I’m not making it mandatory, I am recommending they go by those rules.”
For the majority of private individual vendors, the cost per table space is $20, Coleman said. “If they need multiple table space, it’s just multiplied by how many spaces they need. We’ll work with an individual if they need multiple spaces.” Some business vendors have their own tables and other equipment, Coleman said. And the cost depends on how big an area they need. “I work with them as far as price goes, on a case-by-case basis. For a business, a single space is $30, some of them need multiple spaces, which range from $30 to $60. Many are repeat vendors.
“In the last few years, we had them stacked in pretty tight,” he said. “We had somewhere around 35 to 36 vendors last year.” However, he used the convention center only “and there was still a little bit of space left. “I didn’t use the small building, so if I spread them out this year, we may bleed over into (the Jones building) trying to spread everybody out, depending on how many people we have. We’ve averaged 34 to 35 vendors since we’ve been doing this. This is our fifth year.”
Admission for shoppers is free. “This is a fundraiser for the bass club, so the only funding that we get off it is just renting the table spaces,” Coleman said. “We also do have a food vendor. The Bear on the Air will set up his vending service for lunch … and he may have breakfast as well.”
Coleman said he will assist vendors with their set up both Friday and early Saturday. “I’ll be available on Friday throughout the day — most of the day Friday on a case-by-case basis,” he said. “If they want to set up Friday, they may call me at 270-350-7411. As long as it’s before 4 o’clock Friday, I’ll open the doors for everybody to get in there and set up. If they are not able to do that, I’ll be up there around 5:30 on Saturday morning, and they’ll have that timeframe to set up as well.”
Coleman said the swap meet is “not just a guys’ event; there’s typically all different kinds of stuff. It’s basically a big swap meet or yard sale. So bring the entire family out. There’s always something for everybody.”
He cited several vendor offerings from past years. “In the past we’ve had several women vendors,” he said. “I haven’t verified those this year to see if they are going to be repeat vendors. We’ve had all kinds of stuff in the past like book companies, people who make big signs — the decoration signs — we’ve had Pampered Chef and Tupperware. I still have to verify all of those. I’ll do that in the next couple weeks. As of right now, we have a few bait companies that make baits and fishing tackle. I have at least 10 to 12 different vendors who are just private individuals and they’ll bring everything under the sun. You never know what they are going to bring.”