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Every Saturday from daybreak to mid-afternoon, the population of Beebe nearly doubles as thousands of people flock to visit the Beebe Flea Market, known to locals as the Beebe Sale Barn. The Sale Barn has been in operation for as long as most of Beebe’s citizens can remember. One man, Martin Dean, who has been a resident of Beebe for over fifty years, even recalls visiting the Sale Barn with his father as a child.
“Of course, it wasn’t in the same place then,” he says, “It was actually over by the tennis courts.”
The property about which Mr. Dean speaks is now owned by Beebe Publics Schools and is used as the school district’s primary campus for students enrolled in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade.
“That just goes to show you how much Beebe has grown,” he says, as the property used to be considered outside of Beebe city limits.
As the city has expanded, the Sale Barn has grown as well, changing location and expanding in order to accommodate the city’s changing needs. What began as a simple livestock auction in a small farming community now includes an animal, plant, and produce sale with a large flea market component made up of vendors from all over the area.
In our household, Saturday trips to the Sale Barn are both a necessity and a grand event. Since I have become more knowledgeable about the food my family eats, I have found many ways to bring healthier foods to the dinner table. The Beebe Sale Barn plays a vital role in this mission and gives me more bang for my buck. While not all of the vendors offer organic produce, I can still find fresh locally grown fruits and veggies at the Sale Barn for a decent price.
Still, if you’re dedicated to only organic produce, you might consider growing your own. The Beebe Sale Barn is a wonderful starting point for those who, like me, are exploring the idea of homesteading. Since the health-wave brought on by documentaries such as Food Inc. and Fed Up, many Americans are homesteading once again, which simply means that they are placing a greater importance on self-sufficiency. Whether you intend to start a small garden or supply your own milk and eggs by raising goats and chickens, the Sale Barn can help you get started. I, for example, bought all of my gardening supplies there this year as a I planted a rather large garden, host to over seven different types of fruits and veggies. Being able to talk to and build relationships with local farmers at the Sale Barn also helped me to gain knowledge and build confidence in my gardening skills.
In addition to the Sale Barn’s usefulness, it also functions as a great family outing. My son, who is nearly four, absolutely loves going to the Sale Barn and begs to go every Saturday. In fact, he even prefers the Beebe Sale Barn over the zoo. I really enjoy taking him as well. I view it as a fun, interactive way to immerse him in so many different cultures. On our weekly trips, he gets to hold puppies, pet ducklings and rabbits, walk past piglets and chickens, and even ride horses on occasion. In doing these things, he is learning a deep love and respect for God’s creatures, and their owners help educate them on their care. He also gets a lot more interaction with these animals than he would with the animals at the zoo. Also, since many of the vendors don’t speak much English, this gives me an opportunity to practice my Spanish, and they are kind and gracious enough to help and listen as I search for the proper words. And the best part is—my son gets to experience this right by my side absolutely for free! I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to expose him to these different subcultures at such a young age without even having to leave our hometown.
Whether you’re looking to buy, sell, or just to socialize, the Beebe Sale Barn is a wonderful experience for all ages. Having been with Beebe since the beginning, this little gem remains the dream hometown’s heart and soul each and every Saturday, and the kindness and ingenuity it embodies, I hope, never dies.
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