The Richmond Times Dispatch covered the Really Really Free Market, which fell on Christmas day this month. Check out their preview article here:

Free Market Planned For Christmas Day In Richmond

The follow up article they wrote after visiting the Really Really Free Market on Christmas Day is here:

Free Market Draws Dedicated Group In Monroe Park

Full articles after the break

Free market planned for Christmas Day in Richmond

Published: December 24, 2010

Some Richmond-area residents will take the spirit of Christmas giving to a whole new level this Saturday.

They’re going to be giving things away — perhaps some clothing, books or toys, or maybe some furniture and food — at an event called the Richmond Really, Really Free Market.

The event, not so much a market as it is a loosely organized gathering of people with an interest in sharing, is scheduled Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. at Monroe Park in Richmond, at Main and Laurel streets.

“It looks like a yard sale on somebody’s lawn, except it doesn’t cost anything,” said Mo Karn, who works at a local coffee shop and helps coordinate the market, which has been active locally since 2008.

The Really, Really Free Market typically happens the last Saturday of every month, Karn said. Its regular participants decided to go ahead with this month’s market, even though it’s on Christmas Day and there is a possibility of inclement weather.

“I hear someone is going to bring some hot chocolate, so that will be nice,” Karn said.

Participants should try to bring whatever items they are willing to share or trade. Or they can bring a skill or talent to share, such as music.

“The idea is to have it be a place where the community comes to share and help each other out as opposed to always having to go to a store,” Karn said. “It is sort of an alternative to consumerism.”

Free market draws dedicated group in Monroe Park

Published: December 26, 2010

Paul Johnson couldn’t get home to visit family for Christmas this year. So, instead, he took a walk through Richmond’s Monroe Park on Saturday afternoon and happened upon an unusual sort of market.

“So you guys just come out here and give stuff away?” Johnson asked participants at the Richmond Really, Really Free Market.

That’s exactly what the small band of people at Main and Laurel streets were doing on a cold, Christmas Day afternoon. Bags and boxes full of clothes, books, toys and bread lay around the park corner, ready for the taking.

A few people came along every now and then and rummaged through the offerings.

The Really, Really Free Market is a regular gathering on the last Saturday of every month, drawing a group of people who like to trade and share items from food to fabrics.

Yesterday’s group was small, probably because it was Christmas and many of the regulars were visiting family, said Noell Alexander, a market participant.

But not everyone can visit family on Christmas, he said. “For a lot of people, this is family,” he said.

Still, there were a fair amount of offerings on Saturday, including hot chocolate. One participant brought some musical instruments.

Mo Karn, a regular at the market, brought a homemade pecan pie. She also placed out some leaflets that strongly questioned the political and economic status quo. The event, she said, is intended to be an alternative to a free-market system where few things are free.

Johnson picked up some cupcakes and a couple of books.

The books, Johnson said, will be good company in the snow, especially since the 54-year-old New York native said he is living in his car.

“Richmond can be a hard place,” he said. “But today they have done good.”

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