As Bellingham locals gathered for March’s First Friday Art Walk at the O’Donnell’s Flea Market, a raw energy coursed through the atmosphere, adding an edgy feel to the dark and windy night.
With a makeshift stage tucked under the awning of this car-dealership-turned-flea-market, O’Donnell’s serves as an emerging hub for community events and it has a knack for attracting a wide array of people. The evening’s festivities included three local bands, with a solo artist performing between sets, and a smattering of local artists hawking their wares inside the market.
The live music began with a Bellingham favorite, The Vonvettas, who showered bystanders with a bluesy, grassroots harmony that is at the same time, unique and familiar. Usually packing the house, this night was a special treat for fans of this band, who were provided with up-close-and-personal access to the band without having to battle the hordes of University students who typically frequent their shows.
Ending the evening was the boot-stamping amazingness of Mt. Vernon band, Br’er Rabbit. This is a band that is sure to soar the winds of notoriety, be it at a local level or a national (dare I say global?) level. No matter your taste in music, Br’er Rabbit’s infectious tune will soak your skin and you’ll be stamping your boots (or whatever shoes you happen to be wearing) before the first song has dissipated into the air.
On top of all the choices of activity to satiate the senses at the O’Donnell’s Bellingham Flea Market during March’s First Friday Art Walk, there was also free wine, coffee and cocoa for those who chose to partake; further proof that Dan O’Donnell, owner of the flea market, knows how to appease his customers and ensure they keep coming back for future events.
The O’Donnell’s Bellingham Flea Market emerged in May of 2010 and has since hosted a variety of quirky and entertaining community events such as pumpkin bowling, foam sword fight tournaments and pogo stick competitions. But quirky aside, this venue is always out to serve the greater good of the town it calls home.
Dan O’Donnell has a reputation for lending a helping hand to local non-profits, charities, artists and musicians and says that he’s “always on the lookout for fun ideas” and for “people to help organize and make them happen.”
In addition to the smattering of events, an auction happens at the flea market every Saturday at noon and a new men’s consignment section has recently been added. This is a store, which doubles as a beloved events venue, which strives to benefit the community that enables it to flourish. You can feel good about shopping here, knowing that you’re supporting the grassroots movement that Bellingham prides itself on.
For more information, and to learn about future events, visit the O’Donnell’s Bellingham Flea Market website here: bellinghamfleamarket.wordpress.com.