If anyone can look at a parking lot and see potential, it’s a flea market enthusiast. Six years ago, pregnant with twins, Amy Yetman would take walks around her neighborhood and inevitably find herself in the sprawling asphalt surrounding the Broncos’ stadium. The space and the view of Denver’s skyline caught her attention. This, she thought, would be the perfect place to host a flea market.
On May 11 and 12, that’s exactly what’s happening: Yetman’s Horseshoe Market is kicking off its 10th year with a spring market held, for the first time, in the parking lot at Broncos Stadium at Mile High.
Yetman started Horseshoe back in 2010 (before her stadium-strolling days) to create the gritty flea market experience she felt Denver was missing. “The thing that’s fun about a flea market is to have some booths that aren’t perfectly curated,” she says. “You kind of want to dig around a little.”
For the first nine years, she hosted her spring, summer, and fall markets in the parking lot of Berkeley’s Olinger Chapel, aiming to capture the urban feel of open-air outdoor markets. She wanted Horseshoe to host a variety of antique and vintage vendors, but as time went on, artisans and makers dominated the market. Earlier this spring, when Yetman and her husband learned that the Olinger lot was for sale, they treated the news as an opportunity to pursue a bigger dream for the market—and return to Yetman’s original vintage vision while still embracing makers.
This month’s market will feature about 200 vendors, including artisanal food purveyors, makers of all kinds, and about 60 “true vintage” brokers. A tent toward the center of the market will host free creative workshops all weekend, with a break for a live auction from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is $5 for both days (kids under 12 are free), and anyone can participate in the auction at no extra charge (although Yetman recommends claiming a bidding number at least 30 minutes before the start time).
All day Saturday, parents can drop their kids off for creative workshops hosted by The Wonder Co. while they check out the vendors. On Sunday, in honor of Mother’s Day, all moms will be admitted for free from 10 a.m. to noon (pet moms count!), and the Wonder Co. is hosting a paper flower making workshop from 10 to 11:30 a.m. so little ones can make their moms bouquets.
“It’s a shopping event first and foremost…but also a place to be creatively inspired,” Yetman says.
In addition to first-time vintage vendors like Denver-based Cohabitate and VogelHaus Vintage of Frederick, visitors will find a variety of handmade goods like textiles and macrame from Uccellino Designs, cigar box guitars from Bin Built, and original jewelry from Crow Jane Jewelry. “When you walk into one of our markets—with a mix of vintage, fine art, fiber art, jewelry, and all these other things—it is just a smorgasbord of creativity,” Yetman says.
Whether you’re on the hunt to fill the space above your couch, craving a dose of inspiration, or just wanting to catch a striking view of Denver’s skyline, Horseshoe might just grant your wish.
If you go: The market runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday (May 11 and 12), and the first 50 visitors each day will receive a Horseshoe Market tote with vendor and sponsor goods. A portion of the admission proceeds will go to Denver Urban Gardens. Free parking is available in neighboring Broncos Stadium at Mile High lots.