Vendors, customers find fellowship at Max's Trader Days

Sep. 2—LIMA — More than 1,800 vendors have been taking their spots at Max's Trader Days this weekend ahead of Labor Day.

Amy McCluer said that it means a lot to see so many people and vendors come out for the 15th year at the Allen County Fairgrounds to take in everything that the event has to offer.

"I think it's the people that come out here," she said. "They enjoy each other, families come out for their reunions every year and I really think the people that come out bring other people out. And it's such a good experience that they want to come the next year."

John Red Deer Cruz, a vendor, said that he has been selling his healing mixtures, crystals and musical instruments at the event for years.

"It's my livelihood," he said. "I feel more at home out at a show like this than I do at home. At home, I just take care of the standard things that living people have to take care of and out here, I'm meeting and helping people continually and that's really rewarding."

Kim Pittenger, from Lima, has been setting up for three years at the event and decided to give away more things out of his garage rather than selling them.

"It's gone well, but we've decided to give stuff away and it's been working well," he said. "This is based around the dog races, which is interesting. If you've never seen them before, you need to see them, but it's also nice to meet people and have breakfast with them. It's kind of like a family reunion seeing all your friends that you haven't seen in a while."

McCluer said that this year's Labor Day event has seen huge attendance starting with the first day Friday and that the rest of the weekend should prove to be just as successful.

"It means a lot to me," she said. "My father-in-law started this 15 years ago and he's a wonderful person and the fact that he's brought this to the community means the world to us. We're very grateful that he took this on. I can't imagine why he did, but it's just been a blessing to the family."

Max's Trader Days opens at 7 a.m. Sunday for its last day at the Allen County Fairgrounds. For more information, visit the event website.

Reach Jacob Espinosa at 567-242-0399.