Cotton candy sold from a vendor's booth at the Shipshewana Flea Market. Photo: backroads.org
SHIPSHEWANA FLEA MARKET: I posted last week about how the ubiquitous RV business in northern Indiana has really experienced a comeback over the past year. But there's another economic engine at work in northern Indiana and its beginning to run at full tilt also: The Amish. The Shipshewana Flea Market itself is not Amish run and the Amish presence there is actually quite sparse. But if the Shipshewana Flea Market were located in Lexington, Kentucky, it probably wouldn't be near the draw. What brings people to the market is its location in picturesque northern Indiana's Amish country, at least that is what civic and commerce leaders in the area say. People spill out of the flea market and explore the countryside where they can buy fresh eggs, baked goods and furniture from many of the area's Amish home-based businesses. The end of the Great Recession has really spurred the tourist trade in the area. Of course it also contributes to the delicate balance between the area Amish who often rely on the tourist dollars, yet wish to keep 21st century ways at bay. It's a tough task to balance the two. Read about the resurgence of tourism in northern Indiana's Amish country. Have you visited the Shipshewana Flea Market? If so, what did you think?