FunkyTown Swap will return for its third appearance at the Trinity Art Courts inside Trinity Park Oct. 22. The monthly community pop-up focuses on vintage clothing, but also features art and jewelry vendors, live music and local food trucks.
The event was on hiatus from its monthly schedule over the summer, which featured some of the hottest days in North Texas history. Co-owners Nate Viera, 29, and Chester Cox, 44, said they didn’t want the vendors to be miserable in the heat.
FunkyTown Swap started as a one-time event back when Viera reached out to Cox about creating a unique event for the vintage clothing community in October 2020. Cox has curated events for 23 years, so he was able to secure 20 vendors, along with food trucks and local musicians, for the first event in Viera’s old warehouse space in Fort Worth’s Southside.
They took a huge gamble by hosting an event in the height of the pandemic, but people responded well to it by showing up, Cox said.
“It ended up being the talk of the town in the vintage community,” Viera said. “We quickly saw the endless opportunity and decided to keep the momentum going.”
Viera was born and raised in Fort Worth and wanted to use this event to give back to the community. They used a portion of the money made from the event to donate to a local skate park and gave new basketball hoops to the Trinity Art Courts inside Trinity Park.
“My biggest focus is creating a community that is all inclusive, where everyone supports everyone no matter their difference(s),” Cox said. “I also have a big heart for giving back to the community and am grateful that my partner feels the same way.”
This month, FunkyTown Swap will have over 40 vendors, including Slater Thrifts. Owner Micheal Slater, 27, has been a vendor for them since the beginning.
“For [Cox], it was important that it was a little bit more than just clothing. He wanted to make sure that there was some kind of art represented,” Slater said. “I think they’re kind of representing the larger culture of streetwear and music and art.”
Slater said the owners focus on representing the larger urban culture of Fort Worth, which serves as one of the main reasons for Slater and his wife to keep coming back to the event.
If you go
Time: 11 a.m.-6 p.m
Date: Oct. 22
Location: Trinity Art Courts inside Trinity Park
Viera met a small church pastor named Ricky Cotto three years ago when he sponsored one of his events. Keeping in touch with him played a big part in helping them secure Trinity Art Courts as a location for FunkyTown Swap.
“I had the idea [on] why not bring it to the park,” Viera said. “Since he has the adoptive park contract with the city, he has a lot of leeway.”
Viera said they planned on having a FunkyTown Swap at least once in the spring and once in the fall at the basketball courts. Hosting the event there permanently is an achievable goal, Viera said.
Previous FunkyTown Swap events always had something that attendees could interact with, such as dance battles. This one will have a three-point basketball contest, where the winner will earn a $150-$200 voucher for Cox or Viera’s clothing booths.
“We try to make it something that people want to come back to and make it memorable, not just for the vendors, but the people as well,” he said.
Juan Salinas II is a reporting fellow for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter.