Hometown Hero creates sense of community with Youngstown Flea

City Events Coordinator Michael McGiffin said what Derrick McDowell was able to do with the Youngstown Flea is amazing

A vision and a lot of hard work -- that's what Derrick McDowell said it took to start the Youngstown Flea.


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – A vision and a lot of hard work — that’s what Derrick McDowell said it took to start the Youngstown Flea.

“I’ve seen other cities and how a flea experience brought the community out, brought the community together. You could sense the feeling of connectivity and community, so I thought that was something missing from this area,” said McDowell. A vision and a lot of hard work -- that's what Derrick McDowell said it took to start the Youngstown Flea.

Many local artisans gather together on one Saturday a month to sell their goods at the show McDowell created. There, you can buy art, clothes, ceramics and unique food, all created locally.

“When you come, you’re not just coming to another event, you’re coming to experience your own community and putting legs and legitimacy to shopping local,” he said.

Those who know and work with McDowell say he brought a new sense of community to the city through the Flea.

“It normally takes people or groups or event planners like a year or two to get something like this off of the ground, and he did it on day one. It was something I had never seen before,” said City Events Coordinator Michael McGiffin.

It’s because of that hard work that McDowell was nominated and selected as this week’s WYTV Hometown Hero. The Youngstown native says the recognition is amazing and hopes the sense of community the Flea has created will expand throughout his city.

“This has just been home,” he said. “I will defend Youngstown from here to anywhere we go. There’s no place like Youngstown for me.”

The next Youngstown Flea will be held on October 22. It is held in the parking lot next to Covelli Centre.

For more information, go to www.youngstownflea.com.