HILLSVILLE, Va – Hillsville town leaders have announced they will not be issuing permits or taking part in the town’s annual flea market this year.
The event brings thousands of people to Carroll County every year but the Virginia Department of Health said it would take legal action if the event continued.
The town issued a statement about the event on its website.
“The Town of Hillsville’s plans were to continue the Flea Market 2020 following the regulations set by the governor of Virginia’s orders. The Town recently received a letter from the Virginia Department of Health stating, “Please be advised if you continue with the planned event without meeting the requirements of Executive Order 67, the CCHD will seek enforcement action pursuant to Executive Order 61, 63, and 67, including Class 1 criminal misdemeanor charges and civil injunctive relief.” That being said, the state has designated this event as a “festival”, which changed the requirements and we are no longer able to issue permits for this event. Public health has always been and continues to be a concern. We have continued selling yard sale permits since the state has moved to phase 2 and we will continue issuing those permits to Town residents.”
Some local businesses leaders said the loss of the market will impact the town’s economy.
Melissa Hawks works at Slyder’s in Hillsville. She said the restaurant depends on the money from the flea market to survive the later half of the year.
“They’ll come and eat before the flea market or after the flea market, so they’ll come and eat and it brings a lot of business in,” Hawks said.
The event usually packs the sidewalks in Hillsville, but some people who live there would rather be safe than sorry.
“I think that’s the right decision, with so many people here in a big crowd like that, it’s common sense that we don’t have it this year,” Hillsville resident Chuck Thompson said.
The town said it will still be issuing yard sale permits for residents.