It all began on a sunny Saturday in April, 1979 when a group of South Florida marine businesses gathered on the parking lot of the Dania Jai Alai to do what Al Behrendt had envisioned; create an outlet for overstocked and used marine items as well as marine products that were obsolete.
The uniqueness of the event, combined with the variety of nationally recognized vendors, made the Dania Marine Flea Market an immediate success for vendors and area boaters, Sherman and divers alike. Where else could you nod all these marine 'treasures' in one place and at such bargain prices?
Company names like Mako, Pompanette, Raritan and Lauderdale Marina attracted people from throughout Florida and The Bahamas. The location has moved a couple of times over the years, but is now located at the Mardi Gras Casino in Hallandale.
Today, the Dania Marine Flea Market is the largest event of its type in the world. More than 300 marine manufacturers, distributors, dealers and a large number of private individuals from across the United States and Canada occupied over 1,000 vendor stalls. The visitors, from as far away as British Columbia, browsed through acres of used marine equipment, antiques, new and used boats/trailers, fishing tackle, diving gear, clothing, marine artwork and other nautical treasures.
They keep coming back because of the huge savings. The prices are far below retail and dickering and dealing is just part of the fun.
The 40th Annual Dania Marine Flea Market March 1-4, Mardi Gras Casino, Hallandale Beach, FL 9:00am-6:00pm Thursday-Saturday, 9:00am-4:00pm Sunday Admission $12, kids under 12 get in free