By Joe Earle

Ron Patton wants to lure people to Brookhaven, so he decided to throw a sale.

Just don’t call it a “flea market.”

“It’s not a flea market,” Patton said. “It’s a bazaar.”

It is, in fact, the first Brookhaven Bazaar.

Patton, incoming vice president of the Brookhaven Community Connection, hopes the May 15 sale will pull hundreds of buyers to Village Place Brookhaven. That’s why he’s holding the sale on the same day as the Brookhaven Bolt, the fundraising 5K walk and run sponsored by Brookhaven Storage.

The Bolt, now in its third year, raises money for Ashford Park Elementary. “The Brookhaven Bolt has really become a unifying event for the whole community,” Ashford Park Principal Toni Fallon said in a press release.

Bolt executive director Bill Sluben, in the same release, called the race “a shining example of a community coming together in financial support of its school in a time where public education budgets are being reduced at an alarming rate.”

Patton hopes the people who come to Brookhaven to run will stay to shop. And he hopes the people who come to watch the runners will do a little shopping, too. The Bolt is expected to draw 600 to 1,000 people, he said, and he hopes all of them jog on over to the Bazaar afterwards.

“What we’re hoping is that we can bring as many of the Bolt people in as possible” to the sale, he said.

He expects 40 to 50 exhibitors to sell goods during the Bazaar, which will be held on top of the Village Place parking deck in the 1400 block of Dresden Drive. He says vendors may sell garage-sale items, antiques, rugs, crafts, even produce. “We’d love to have some produce, some farmers’ market types,” he said.

Each vendor rents a parking space atop the Village Place parking deck as a location for a sales booth. Spaces rent for a $35 donation, he said.

“They’re selling quickly,” he said. As of April 19, 11 vendors had rented spaces.

The market is to be open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Money raised through the bazaar will be contributed to developing the Clack’s Corner Park, which is located near the village.

“Everybody in the village is very interested in making Brookhaven a better place,” Patton said. “With the real estate market being a little depressed right now, everybody is looking for ways to bring people to Brookhaven. All these things just make our community better.”

He hopes that adding the Bazaar to the Bolt will translate into more people spending more time in Brookhaven.

“If we can bring a lot of people out to the village,” he said, “we can bring more good neighbors into our community.”