If having the very first chance to get your hands on the handcrafted goodies, clothes, accessories, art, sporting goods, and crafts of nearly 100 local makers is something you'd trade your favorite bowler hat for, then the Porter Flea Preview Market at Track One this Friday night is a perfect fit.
While these events have always provided a showcase for Nashville's artisan community, they're also known to be outrageously crowded affairs that find shoppers having to wait in line for what would ideally be a casual, enjoyable browse-about. Are the venues overbooked with vendors? Are the event spaces simply too small? Are Porter, its customers and its artisans all suffering because of the pop-up shop's immense popularity?
These are all important questions, but for Friday night here's my advice: If you're already planning to go to the market on Saturday, go ahead and spring the extra 15 bucks and go to the party on Friday night instead — the free Jackalope beer alone makes this a no-brainer.
The Porter preview will find all the vendors in dress rehearsal mode, chilled out and able to enjoy a night of hawking their wares in a more fun, more mellow atmosphere. Seriously, isn't the opportunity to interact with these artisans and find out more about their practices a big part of the value people are looking to purchase at this type of event? Ideally, pop-up shops like these offer an opportunity to learn more about our neighbors while supporting one another by spending our money right here in our own community. Believe me, you'll be a lot more likely to find that experience at the preview than at the Saturday night event that will coincide with the Arts and Music at Wedgewood/Houston happenings.
Porter has a long list of good vendors this year, but here are my picks of folks you'll definitely want to get to know better regardless of which event you attend this weekend: Modern Arks, Familytree, Mr. Hazelwood, Sawtooth Printhouse, Mitchell Bat Company, Humphreys Street Coffee and Prohibition Popcorn.
Track One is located at Fourth Avenue South and Chestnut Avenue in the Wedgewood/Houston neighborhood. For a complete listing of artisans and food vendors, and for ticket information check this out.