Fun, funky weekend planned for downtown thieves market


West Chandler residents are about to find their city’s downtown a whole lot funkier—and more fun.

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, March 11-12, the monthly thieves market that is regularly hosted at Tempe’s Big Sur Water Park will bring its “Best Of” version to historic downtown Chandler.

The event will feature a mix of 50 or so vendors selling furniture, jewelry, up-cycled items and one-of-a-kind treasures from yesteryear, along with an assortment that can best be described as “something for everyone.”

Also: food vendors and unique entertainment offer one more dimension to the event.

Having run vintage and antique markets for eight-plus years, Thieves Market manager and creator Mickey Meulenbeek said she found her calling through her family’s eclectic style.

A onetime interior designer for more than 25 years, she made her living by finding one-of-a-kind items that clients had her asking, “Where did you find this?”

Today, Meulenbeek continues to work with “off-beat, funky makers, as well and pickers who focus on a kaleidoscope of industrial, salvaged and upcycled treasures.”

She warns guests that this isn’t “the quintessential shabby chic and craft market”—so if you’re looking for loads of whitewashed furniture, this event isn’t for you.

However, if you’re like many others, you’re wondering what makes this event unique from the monthly Thieves Market fleas in the Big Sur Parking lot—what qualifies it as “best of”? Meulenbeek explains that larger, multi-day events like this one are put on the calendar early and give pros a chance to collect, make and display their best inventory.

Location of the event will be in downtown Chandler’s Downtown Stage Plaza at 178 E. Commonwealth. Entry is $3 at the door. Visitors should bring cash, as credit cards are not accepted for admission.

A perfect way to cool down and discuss your finds with your party after snagging your finds. Entertainment for both the days will be anything but usual:

Belly dancing by Saharan Silk can be enjoyed both days, and The White Lightnin’ Band, an “Acoustic Roots American” band, will play on March 11.

Mobile vendors include local food trucks such as The Local Lunchbox and Waffle Crush, along with additional snack vendors offering food options for purchase.

Meulenbeek’s Tips?

Bring additional cash in addition to the $3 for entry. Tip: Many vendors are willing to barter.


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