Princeton hosts Collector’s Carnival on Saturday, hundreds attend despite COVID-19 concerns

Updated: Oct. 31, 2020 at 11:33 PM CDT
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PRINCETON, Ind. (WFIE) - An event that usually attracts thousands of people went on as planned in Gibson County this weekend.

Hundreds turned out to the Collector’s Carnival Antiques and Flea Market in Princeton on Saturday.

[PREVIOUS: COVID-19 safety precautions in place for Saturday flea market in Princeton]

The coronavirus has affected the world in more ways than one, and for some of the vendors who worked at the Collector’s Carnival this weekend, events like these are their livelihoods.

“We’ve had 21 of 24 shows canceled," Howard Baker, a vendor at the event said. "But I’m willing to participate. My wife and I are not afraid of COVID, but we’re careful.”

The Collector’s Carnival typically draws the attention of thousands of shoppers, and with 180 vendors at this year’s event, promoters say they are happy with how people have handled the safety precautions in place.

“It all boils down to - I think people are so eager and desperate for that little bit of normalcy that they’re willing to do what’s necessary for the greater good, so that we can have this fantastic event and they’re willing to wear those masks," show promoter Suzie Pace said. "I’ve just been telling people all day long - thank you for wearing your masks so we can have this event safely.”

Baker says this is the first time he’s seen so many people following the precautions at one of these types of events during the pandemic.

“My wife and I were talking a bit ago and we’re guessing 90-95% are actually masked today," Baker said. "It’s a little unusual. I’ve done shows where probably only 25% and different venues are at 25%, but they’re almost at 100% today.”

Vendors at the event say the biggest factor for them still participating this year was that safety precautions were enforced inside and highly encouraged outside.

Throughout the day, event organizers say they have seen more than 90% of people still wearing their masks while browsing each vendor outside.

Meanwhile, those who ventured inside were required to adhere to strict COVID-19 guidelines. With masks required, hand sanitizer on standby and social distancing encouraged, promoters say they have done all they could to hold a safe event for everyone.

“We are so incredibly grateful that our vendors and our shoppers have embraced the masks, which allowed us to have this fabulous event today," Pace said. “It’s just been beyond our expectation, so we’re really grateful.”

Show promoters say the Collector’s Carnival will be back in Princeton on January 30, pending COVID-19 positivity rates in Gibson County at the time.

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