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After 54 years, the Wagon Wheel Flea Market is closing

Bill DeYoung

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The Wagon Wheel Flea Market.

The coronavirus pandemic has claimed another Pinellas County mom-and-pop business.

Owners of the Wagon Wheel Flea Market, which has been at 7801 Park Boulevard in Pinellas Park since 1966, announced on their website and Facebook page that the 2,500-plus vendor outdoor and covered market will not re-open. The Wagon Wheel, which also includes the former Mustang Drive-In Flea Market, was one of the oldest – and busiest – flea and produce markets in Florida.

The business evolved out of Hardy Huntley’s used car lot; wife Janet Huntley became his field agent, scouring the county for used items Huntley could repair and sell.

Janet Huntley died in 2009; Hardy passed away four years later.

The Wagon Wheel closed in March, during the first wave of COVID-19.

The announcement in full:

To our beloved vendors and patrons, It is with a heavy-heart that we share with you the news that the Wagon Wheel and Mustang Flea Markets will not be reopening. After almost 55 years of continuous business the time has come for us to say farewell. Thank all of you for your patronage and support. This has been the most difficult decision we have ever made as a family. We wish you all the best. It is with tears and fond memories that we say goodbye and thank you.

The Huntley Family

 

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Bethany Chance

    June 10, 2020at2:50 pm

    The story says corona virus; their statement doesn’t mention this at all. Has the land been sold?

    • Bill DeYoung

      Bill DeYoung

      June 10, 2020at5:16 pm

      Hi Bethany: It closed in March (like everything else) when COVID-19 arrived; the Huntleys’ statement says it will not be re-opening. As far as a potential land sale, we’ll be looking into that.

  2. Avatar

    Sue Calannio

    June 11, 2020at8:09 am

    This is terrible. Hundreds of vendors are now displaced. This has been a way of life and employment, for so many over the years.They’ve single handedly put an end to the best and most enjoyable way of injecting cash directly into our local economy. I for one, am heartily disappointed in this outcome. There must be a way to fight this. This has been a cornerstone of Pinellas County nostalgia and charm for decades. Folks stood up and said, no more, to losing Biff Burger in Kenneth City, we need to do the same for Wagon wheel and Mustang. Shame on us if we don’t.

  3. Avatar

    S Calannio

    June 11, 2020at8:18 am

    This is terrible. Hundreds of vendors are now displaced. This has been a way of life and employment, for so many, over the years.They’ve single handedly put an end to the best and most enjoyable way of injecting cash directly into our local economy. I for one, am heartily disappointed in this outcome. There must be a way to fight this. This has been a cornerstone of Pinellas County nostalgia and charm for decades. Folks stood up and said, no more, to losing Biff Burger in Kenneth City, we need to do the same for Wagon wheel and Mustang. Shame on us if we don’t.

  4. Avatar

    Tim Fulton

    June 11, 2020at2:43 pm

    I’m quite certain they sold the property to a real estate developer to build a sub-division on – it’s disappointing I live 15 minutes away from it – there is the Oldsmar Flea Market and Funland Flea Market

  5. Avatar

    Jane Benning

    June 11, 2020at7:47 pm

    I’m hoping someone will rescue the property and keep the market going. We don’t need another development. Save the vendors.

  6. Avatar

    Kathy Albright

    June 11, 2020at11:01 pm

    Why? Closed down by “outside influences”? Sold out? Gone broke?
    To me the Wagon Wheel & Mustang flea markets represented FREEDOM and the true entrepreneurial spirit!It was one of the last places in the greater St. Pete area you could get so many original, reasonably priced, organic, healthy and fun things. In Austin & San Antonio, where I lived formerly, there were many real farmers markets. I truly hope that somehow local farmers can find new ways and places to sell healthy, organic food! So very sad! I also will miss the only place I could sell my “yard sale” stuff as I live in a condo.

  7. Avatar

    Karl Keister

    June 12, 2020at1:19 pm

    Reality is that the pandemic only hastened the closing of The Wagon Wheel! Developers have had the property targeted for some time! Knew it was coming when they refused to renew the lease for the Cajun Café on the Bayou!

    • Avatar

      George carlsen

      June 21, 2020at9:46 am

      I want the name and address of that developer. anyone know who it is ?

  8. Avatar

    Geo Carlsen

    June 21, 2020at9:48 am

    I want the Name and address of that Developer. Anyone know who it is ?

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