SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — From apparel and artwork to gourmet treats and exclusive home decor items, shoppers will be able to find an assortment of items and watch an array of product demonstrations at this annual event.

The 24th annual SPI Market Days will be hosted Jan. 24 through Jan. 26 at the SPI Convention Centre.

The event will be held Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The admission fee for the event is $1.

According to SPI Market Days organizer Cathy Shelton, the event will have about 60 to 70 vendors.

“Most of these vendors come from different disparate states and they travel around,” she said. “These are professional people who make their living selling their goods, artwork, craftwork or other things such as medical devices.”

 

The impact

 

South Padre Island Convention & Visitors Bureau Director Ed Caum said the event is so popular that it’s held twice a year.

“Market Days is a great event,” Caum said. “People look forward to it annually and it sells out. They open their doors at a certain time and they’ll be a line to get in those doors about two hours early.”

According to Shelton, SPI Market Days has grown larger each year since it began and spots get booked months in advance, for the most part.

“Last year, I had a couple of women ask me the dates for the following season and told me that they actually programmed their vacations around our dates so they could make sure to come to Market Days and that just blew me away,” Shelton said. “And then I talked to some of the wait staff at one of the restaurants who complimented me and my daughter saying thank you for bringing so much to the Island for so many years, so I believe I bring a lot to the Island.”

Shelton said she feels proud and happy about SPI Market Days’ vendors and is also appreciative of SPI CVB personnel.

“The South Padre Island Convention Centre has been extraordinarily easy to work with and helpful at every step,” she said. “They have wonderful employees.”

 

Looking ahead

 

Before her late husband’s passing 10 years ago, Shelton had been organizing the event with him.

She said Jim was the one who felt inspired to create SPI Market Days.

“He was a merchant and had a few stores on the Island,” she said. “He would always have excess merchandise and he wanted a place to sell it so he set up a bunch of tables at the Convention Centre and asked friends who were merchants to sell there and that’s how it started.”

Shelton said she plans to semi-retire and assist her daughter with SPI Market Days.

“My daughter, Monique Carre, is going to be taking it over,” Shelton said. “So I’m passing on the torch to the next generation.”

IF YOU GO

WHAT — SPI Market Days 2020

WHERE — South Padre Island Convention Centre, 7355 Padre Boulevard

WHEN — Jan. 24, 25 and 26

FRIDAY — 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

SATURDAY — 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

SUNDAY — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

ADMISSION — $1

For questions, email info@sopadre.com or call the SPI Convention and Visitors Bureau at (956) 761-3000.