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Open air market adds to weekend atmosphere at Hayward campus

  • September 9, 2010

Field-ripened vegetables, fruit off the tree and fresh-cut flowers are among the fare expected to be on offer starting Sept. 19 as the university kicks off a weekly Sunday swap meet and farmers market on the Hayward campus.

“We’ve heard Mo talk about the vibrant university village,” said Chris Brown, associate vice president and executive director for Enterprise Operations and Foundation. “No. 1, it’s to bring life to the campus community on the weekends –– we have 1,200 residents –– and it’s to provide another community connection and to be a good neighbor.”

The Hayward Hills Swap Meet at Cal State East Bay will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each Sunday year-round in parking lot H on the northeast side of the Hayward campus. Admission is free; short-term parking will be available.

Vendors are expected to offer new and used gift items from T-shirts to jewelry, fresh produce and fair-style foods, such as kettle corn and hot dogs, Brown said.

“Our hope is to have at least 200 vendors every Sunday so when people come, there are plenty of things for (them) to see and shop for,” he said.

Establishing the weekend event offers other practical benefits for Cal State East Bay.

“It will generate an income stream for the university,” Brown said. “We have a big facility, and it does sit idle on the weekends. Why not do something?”

Due to the time slot and location of The Hayward Hills Swap Meet at Cal State East Bay, it is not intended to compete with the downtown Hayward farmers market held on Saturdays or a monthly flea market at Chabot College, Brown said. Instead, the idea is to attract community members to the university on Sundays, much as FC Gold Pride games have drawn crowds to Pioneer Stadium on weekends during the summer. The Professional Women’s Soccer team, which recently finished league play in first place, played its home games at Cal State East Bay, drawing up to 4,000 fans per match.

Early community response bodes well for the swap meet and farmers market at Cal State East Bay.

Brown said, “We’ve gotten some feedback from the neighbors that they’re looking forward to it on Sundays.”

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