CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - The Downtown Merchants Group hosted their 6th Downtown Tailgate Flea Market on Sunday which brought in an estimated 8,000 people.
"I'm actually shocked!" B Signachur Owner Eli Harris said. "Very impressed that there was this many people here at the event. Whoever did the campaign for the promo and getting the people aware of the event. I think it's a pretty big deal."
This happened to fall on the same weekend as the Niña and Pinta boats that were on display at the riverfront.
"When you have a couple of things going on, two events. You have a destination for people from everywhere. Not just Cape but from across the bridge and from north and south. It's a place to go and a place to enjoy the day," Downtown Merchants Group President Paula Haas said.
These events helped bring roughly 16,000 people to the Cape Girardeau Downtown area for the entire weekend. Haas said this greatly helps businesses in the area.
"We're trying to get people downtown to enjoy our wonderful downtown and to make them aware of what we have to offer," Haas added. "So the fact is that the restaurants and businesses are having record sales days and people are finding new businesses that didn't know were down here."
Over the last three years the flea market event has steadily grown.
What started with just 19 vendors at the first event has now grown to over 150 vendors.
Owners at new additions to the market, such as B Signachur and Favored Travels, feel this is a great way to jump start their businesses.
"Hopefully the display today will bring in some customers that are curious about travel or have trips planned that they would like to have questions about or maybe they've never taken a trip and would just like some additional information about," Favored Travels Owner MaKenya Owens said.
Owens just started her travel agency business a month ago. She is strictly online and on social media. She feels this event is an excellent way to not only get the word out for new and existing business but helps bring in revenue as well for the entire city.
"I think it's super important for the economy here," Owens added. "Not only does it promote the local businesses, the small business owners, but it brings a lot more people to the community which brings in additional revenue to help with repairs and things that Cape seriously needs."
B Signachur Owner Eli Harris feels the same, he said his business is benefiting from the mass amount of people downtown as well.
"I believe more people will obviously be more exposed and aware that B Signachur actually exists," Harris said. "The goal is to get more traffic to our stores."
B Signachur started nearly a year ago and has been an online store only as well. They sell products to individuals that want to feel unique and to promote being themselves.
Harris joined this flea market to let people know they are open for businesses and gain traffic online after the event is over.
"The turnout ratio has been good so this is good publicity," Harris added.
Haas hopes that people continue to come downtown for their shopping desires. She believes this can only help Cape Girardeau grow.
The next Downtown Tailgate Flea Market will be on May 6, 2018.