Fort Lauderdale’s Flamingo Flea Celebrates 5th Anniversary

Carley Sumner, a local of Fort Lauderdale, hit the ground running with her Flamingo Flea market. Launched in March 2019, she initially brought together 45 vendors providing homemade goods, art, and vintage items at Tarpon River Brewing in Fort Lauderdale. The market attracted approximately 1,000 visitors on the first day, and has been popular ever since. By 2024, the Flamingo Flea had marked its fifth year, and Sumner had managed nearly 70 such markets and pop-up events throughout Florida – a truly remarkable accomplishment for any business-person. “There’s something incredibly rewarding about seeing our vendors, some of whom have been with us since the beginning, leave their day jobs and pursue their passions. They’ve even opened their own independent stores,” Sumner reflects. “It’s more than just retail therapy; it’s an opportunity to interact with our talented community, enjoy live music, and soak in the vibe.”
Among the Flamingo Flea success stories is Crumb Up, a dessert business owned by a married couple from Lake Worth. After being one of the original vendors at the market, they’ve since opened an online shop, started a delivery service, taken part in large-scale festivals, and even launched a food truck.
The Flamingo Flea crowds congregate at a recent event at Tarpon River Brewing in Fort Lauderdale. Another successful vendor is the Wallflower Shoppe, a mother-daughter venture that provides homemade home decor, candles, skincare items, and other products. They’ve been regulars at the Flamingo Flea since its inception, and after seven months of building in December, they launched their first physical store in Cape Coral.
Now, the Flamingo Flea alternates every other month between Tarpon River Brewing in Fort Lauderdale and Crazy Uncle Mike’s in Boca Raton. Over the years, it has seen more than 1,500 distinctive vendors and 15 venues get involved. Sumner now sorts through over 100 applications to select 35 vendors for each event.
The atmosphere at Flamingo Flea captures a feel-good, communal vibe, complete with live music, enthusiastic attendance, pet-friendly policies, and great offers from the hosting breweries. “We’re based in a region where people are constantly moving to and from,” Sumner notes. “We aim to help people feel like part of the community. At Flamingo Flea, they can connect with others and feel a sense of belonging.”
In honor of its fifth anniversary, the Flamingo Flea has planned several events to take place up until June, including anniversary celebrations at Tarpon River Brewing (March 10), Crazy Uncle Mike’s (April 20), and a biannual Puppy Brunch at Tarpon River Brewing (April 28).
Flamingo Flea. Noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 10, at Tarpon River Brewing, 280 SW 6th St., Fort Lauderdale; Admission is free.