The Kane County Flea Market is coming back.
It might not look exactly the same, but for the market's owners, there's a mix of joy and relief about the event's resumption this weekend for the first time since March.
"We all miss each other," said Lori Robinson, one of the flea market's owners and a grandchild of the couple who started it more than 50 years ago. "The dealers, this is their livelihood and that's how they make a living, Calling people and saying we have to cancel, it hasn't been easy."
With new COVID-19 safety guidelines in effect, the flea market will be open for business from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Dealers, who will be advised by organizers about the new guidelines, will be sufficiently spaced and located outside and under sheds. The indoor buildings will not be open.
While the flea market kitchen will be closed, beverages will be sold. Outdoor vendors will sell food as well.
Masks must be worn at all times by employees, dealers and customers, and social distancing guidelines will be in place. Sanitizing stations will be placed throughout the market, and customers are encouraged to limit the amount they touch items.
"The sheds are open, they just have a roof over their heads, and the dealers will have an open space between them," Robinson said. "And of course we're asking everyone to keep their masks on and over their nose."
A monthly staple in St. Charles, the Kane County Flea Market was started by Helen Robinson and her husband, J.L., in 1967. For the owners of the business that remains family-run, the absence felt long.
"We're pretty excited actually," Robinson said of reopening. "I was 8 years old when I started, and now I'm 51. All the dealers and the people have watched us grow up. It's like one big family."