More than 2,500 packed the Humble Civic Center arena March 16 for the opening of the Lake Houston Trade Days, according to event organizer and promoter Michael Kelley. “The whole event went really well,” Kelley said. “We counted just over 2,500 people over the course of the day,” Kelley continued. The trade days, a series of annual flea-market, craft vendor events for the Humble area, were scheduled to be trimmed from the City of Humble’s operation following consistent downturn in attendance and financial sustainability. However, as first reported by The Tribune in October of last year, several vendors and organizers generated a 530-signature petition presented to the city, although according to City Manager Darrell Boeske, due diligence reporting indicated the 14-year tradition was not an effective use of city resources long term. That’s when Kingwood resident Kelley approached Boeske about a revival using private sources. The inaugural production under Kelley featured more than 250 booths for crafts and other vendors like the former events. Many vendors had signed up to be a part of Kelley’s event. His rebranding also included musical acts like Sundance Head and the Josh Fuller Band, pet adoptions and free veterinary exams and several carnival games and play areas for families and children. “This is all about community,” Kelley said. “Everything going on was for that benefit ... we also ha the Just About Kids ‘For the Love of Music’ winners perform,” he said. The next event, scheduled for April 13, will feature Backyard Homebrewers, “doing craft tastings and home brew classes,” he said. Additionally, wine tastings and more food options and other facets may be altered or added. For more information, visit lakehoustontradedays.com. Photo: Several local volunteers assisted at Trade Day booths, like Charlie Buscemi, Logan Hayes and Jerri Bankston. Photo by Judy Geiger