FREMONT -- The Niles District was once again buzzing with bargains, barbecue, and a little bit of the blues for the 46th annual Niles Antique Faire and Flea Market.
Sunday's event gave early birds a chance to fuel themselves for a long day of bargain hunting. A traditional pancake breakfast began at 5 a.m., with tents opening for business an hour later.
More than 300 vendors lined Niles Boulevard from G to J street, selling a variety of goods from vintage boxing gloves to T-shirts bearing sequin-speckled likenesses of Michael Jackson and Marilyn Monroe.
John Ortega, of San Jose, got a head start on the other bargain hunters. On the advice of some friends, he made the short trip north Saturday evening to browse the yard sales.
"We came here Saturday because they said they had stuff," he said. "I got a nice set of golf clubs for $5."
Ortega said this is the second year he has taken his family to the faire, and he enjoys it for more than just the bargains.
"It's family oriented, so it's really nice to be able to bring your kids," he said. "You can bring your family and you get to look at a lot of good stuff and get some entertainment this year, so it's a really good day out."
Cole Casey, of Fremont, brought his family to the faire and took a different approach, opting to grab a bite to eat from one of the many food vendors and relaxing at the Niles Town Plaza before perusing the tents for deals.
"We've been coming
Al Cunha, president of the Niles Main Street Association, said he was very pleased with the vendor spots selling out this year, with new entrants making up 30 percent of this year's participants. The faire also featured 20 percent more antique vendors than last year's festival.
"I'm bragging now, but we seem to have it together," he said.
Spots for food vendors also were at a premium, and Cunha said the organizing committee turned down more than 50 food vendors vying for the eight open slots.
He said the reason for the limit was so shoppers would be more likely to visit local restaurants.
Demand for these spots, however, has caused the association to look for other ways to use the surplus of food vendors for future events.
"We're considering another food event like the cook-off we used to have here years ago," Cunha said.
"It's something to keep Niles ahead of all the other districts."