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Cotton's Flea Market opens shop to delight of hundreds

By By Matthew Nascone
Atmore was treated to a weekend of good music, free food and used goods at the grand opening of Cotton's Flea Market &Furniture on Hwy. 21 Saturday.
Red Cotton opened his flea market with a bang, as there was plenty of entertainment and free hot dogs, pretzels, drinks and ice cream on site.
"I think it was a fantastic opening," Cotton said. "We had a good turnout for the first day and there were a lot of people cleaning out their attics out there. It was an overall good response from the community. And I had people telling me they will be back next weekend."
Cotton said Wendell Magaha, the Magaha Pretzel Man, was on hand to help with the festivities and to give out free pretzels and ice cream.
"We have been good buddies for a long time and we have helped each other out over the years," Cotton said.
The reason for the free hot dogs and drinks was an easy decision for Cotton.
"That was a way to get acquainted with the community," he said. "We wanted to show all the people we appreciate their business. We won't be doing that every weekend, but we wanted to give them something for coming."
Overall, Cotton said he went through more than 1,000 hot dogs on the day and many, many drinks and pretzels.
While the patrons of the flea market were chowing down on the free food, Cotton also provided entertainment all day for them. The Ronnie and Gayle Grissett Band, the Sawmill Band of Farmers Opry in Chumuckla, the Andy Lollie Southern Grass Band and Dan Kirkland provided musical entertainment.
Cotton brought a treat to Atmore in the form of Michael Burnett, the only black Elvis Presley impersonator in the Gulf Coast.
The entertainment portion of the flea market is scheduled to be a monthly occurrence, according to Cotton. He said he is going to bring some type of entertainer to the business once a month.
Cotton also owns Brothers Furniture in Pensacola. He plans to move some of the furniture from that store to Atmore in the future to show the community what services they can offer as far as furniture is concerned.