Oddities Market brings out the weirder side of Tucson
Tucson residents, get ready for a market of all things macabre and strange. The first oddities market of its kind is coming to Tucson on Nov. 15-17.
Sponsored by When + Where Co. Market Space, the Tucson Oddities Market will feature vendors selling unusual items with a bit of art, natural science and history.
According to Bridgett and Bryan Scofield, owners of When + Where Co., a true oddities market has only been featured in California and has yet to be seen in Arizona.
“I sell a lot of weird stuff and I’m out of place at a lot of events and markets,” Bridgett Scofield said. “So I just figured there’s got to be more vendors like us out there.”
The Scofields reported the interest in oddities in Tucson was much larger than they expected, with nearly 15,000 people responding to the event on social media and a total estimate of 200,000 interactions with the post.
“We didn’t realize how big of a need there was for it until we posted the event and it took off,” Bryan Scofield said.
The Tucson Oddities Market will be hosting 40 vendors from all over Arizona and beyond, further proving the oddity obsession is not just a Tucson thing.
“A lot of them are from Tucson, but then we have some from Tombstone ... Bisbee, Idaho and Douglas,” Bridgett Scofield said.
Don Parsons, artist and owner of RecyKulled Doll Parts, will be one of the vendors featured at the Tucson Oddities Market.
“My creations aren’t for everybody,” Parsons said.
He said that his products usually stand out at conventional markets that sell your typical “grandma sweaters, plants or football jerseys.”
Parsons’ business is exactly like the name suggests. He starts with dolls and figurines he finds at thrift stores and other secondhand entities and transforms them into unsettling artwork.
Parsons’ career in the recycled doll business happened by accident on a slow day at his tattoo shop.
“I was bored and there was a little doll laying in my piercing room,” Parson said.
“I took some whiteout and a Sharpie to it and made a little skeleton-type doll out of it.”
His business took off after posting a picture of the doll to Facebook. The reason, Parsons said, is the natural fascination with the absurd.
“People like to be scared and get freaked out,” Parsons said.
Graham Criglow, owner of White Raven Trading Co. and Museum of the Strange in Tombstone, Ariz., is one of these vendors bringing their out-of-the-box merchandise to Tucson.
“I’ve been collecting my whole life ... I’ve always had kind of a passion for the strange and unusual,” Criglow said. “We will be bringing up our two shrunken heads, some mummified heads, a couple of human skulls and just all of our regular rocks and fossils and oddities with us [to the market].”
Across the board, people said that the fascination with the strange and unusual has been with them from a young age.
“It starts when you’re young,” Bridgett Scofield said. “The ones who are poking stuff with sticks, those turn out to be the creepiest collectors later on.”
Not only will there be creepy collections, the Tucson Oddities Market will also have vendors performing tarot and astrology readings, as well as food trucks.
For vendors like Criglow and the Scofields, their businesses have taught them valuable lessons about finding a community and proved that everyone has a weird side.
“It spans all the different demographics,” Criglow said. “I mean, we have everybody from, you know, young kids to grandmothers that come in, that they buy stuff and enjoy it.”
Bryan Scofield said he finds the Tucson community to be particularly supportive of the strange and unusual.
“Biggest thing I’ve learned is that Tucson is really weird,” Scofield said. “They do want this kind of stuff.”
The event will be located at 4441 E. Speedway Blvd. from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15, Saturday, Nov. 16, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 17.
You can buy tickets to the Oddities Market here.
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