Last year, the pandemic put the brakes on flea markets and events across the country, leaving us with a lot of pent-up flea market energy. There's still some uncertainty as to what will be open and when as COVID-19 lingers, but it's safe to say that organizers are much better prepared this year for handling whatever health concerns may still exist.
With the flea market season upon us, we offer a bucket list of flea markets every self-respecting treasure hunter should explore at least once before they retire their sensible walking shoes and tote.
1. Brimfield Antique Flea Markets, Brimfield, Massachusetts
Brimfield is synonymous with flea markets. With 5,000 dealers stretched over 21 fields along one mile of Route 20 in Brimfield, Massachusetts, the annual flea markets are believed to be the largest and oldest outdoor antiques shows in the country. It began in 1959 in auctioneer Gordon Reid’s backyard but today attracts more than 1 million visitors every year during the May, July and September events that run six consecutive days. Various fields may be themed to antiques and collectible categories, such as pottery, or rustic furniture. Brimfield is amazing, but be prepared to walk – a lot. So it’s a good idea to wear good walking shoes and to pack some water and a snack. Also keep in mind: cash is king. Your bargaining power is greatly increased with cash in hand.
Where: Route 20, Brimfield, Massachusetts
When: Three times a year in May, July and September
For More Information: www.brimfieldantiquefleamarket.com
2. Texas Antique Weekend, Round Top, Texas
The twenty-mile stretch of Texas Highway 237 that runs north of La Grange is, most of the year, as quiet and undisturbed as the cow pastures it cuts through. But for two weeks each spring and fall, this unassuming road, located partway between Austin and Houston, becomes the main artery for one of the largest shopping events in the country. Known as Round Top Antiques Week, this buyer’s paradise is more impressive than its name suggests: it spills beyond Round Top to span several other towns, it features way more than just antiques, and it runs at least sixteen days at a time. Thousands of sellers haul in enough stuff to fill Houston’s Galleria, and every barn, dance hall, and shed in the area becomes an instant storefront. In fields and front yards, tents bloom like bluebonnets. And trampling through those fields are collectors, designers, merchandisers, bargainers, magpies, pickers and junkers from around the world, who’ve come with wildly varying budgets and shopping lists but are there for the same reason: to feel the rush of striking gold at the biggest treasure hunt in Texas. The activity is centered around Warrenton and Round Top, but also includes Shelby, Carmine, Fayetteville, Oldenburg and Rutersville. There are two shows yearly: spring and fall.
Where: Fayette County, Texas
When: March/April and September/October
For More Information: www.antiqueweekend.com
RELATED MATERIAL: 10 BEST ANTIQUING DESTINATIONS
3. Rose Bowl Flea Market, Pasadena, California
One of the coolest venues in the country, the Rose Bowl Flea Market has been one of the best-attended and profitable flea markets for more than 50 years. The market is known far and wide because of its uniqueness, quality of vendors and great shoppers of all ages – and it’s at the ROSE BOWL. Big Fun. Every month on the second Saturday, 2,500 merchants gather to vend thousands of antique or vintage items ranging from housewares like furniture and glassware to odds and ends like antique photography. A word of caution: Flea Market management is in ongoing talks with the City of Pasadena and the Rose Bowl Operating Committee concerning restrictions on a possible re-opening plan of the event. Because the event is enormous, it falls into the mass gathering category, complicating plans. As of deadline, re-opening guidelines
have not been approved.
Where: 1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena, California
When: Second Sunday of the month
For More Information: www.rgcshows.com
4. 127 Corridor Sale, Michigan to Alabama
Billed as The World’s Longest Yard Sale, the 127 Corridor Sale is one of the largest flea markets in the U.S., stretching across multiple states from Michigan to Alabama. Originally planned as a tourist attraction for the scenic back roads in Tennessee and Kentucky, it now spans nearly 700 miles along the Highway 127 corridor, beginning in Addison, Michigan and ending in Gadsden, Alabama. Along the way merchants set up shop in front yards, fields, in parking lots and parks. Vendors include seasoned dealers, antique shop owners, collectors trying to downsize and other vintage fans. The event regularly attracts more than 1,500 vendors. It begins the first Thursday in August every summer.
When: Thursday, August 5 through Sunday August 8
For More Information: www.127sale.com
5. First Monday Trade Days, Canton, Texas
While the first of the month means different things to different people, for residents of Canton, it means more than 200,000 people from around the world descend on their small town. Located about an hour east of Dallas, Canton is home to the largest and oldest continually operating flea market in the U.S. First Monday Trade Days began as a swap event for livestock and farm equipment more than 100 years ago. Today it is a happening. On the Thursday before the first Monday of each month, people flock to Canton in search of antiques, collectables, vintage items, furniture and jewelry. More than six thousand vendors from around the world participate in the market. Either they sell goods and services out of pop-up tents set up on the original First Monday grounds, or they welcome you to their brick-and-mortar establishment close by. With free admission and multiple parking options available for $5-$10, First Monday Trade Days has a lot to offer. Although the market technically ends before Monday, the four-day event still allows patrons to enjoy dawn-to-dusk shopping. The spring market March 28-31 is a crowd favorite. Plan to arrive as close to the morning as possible, as springtime Trade Days’ crowd increases to more than 500,000.
Where: 800 Flea Market Rd Canton, Texas
When: Thursday to Sunday before the first Monday of every month
For More Information: www.firstmondaycanton.com
6. Rogers Flea Market, Rogers, Ohio
Ohioans love exploring flea markets—and the bigger the market is, the better. Fortunately, there’s a truly massive flea market you can rummage through once a week in Rogers, Ohio. Rogers Community Auction and Flea Market is full of treasures, bargains and antiques galore. It’s the largest flea market in Ohio and it’s the perfect way to kick off your weekend with some excellent finds. With more than 1,600 vendor spaces and 5 miles of aisles, Roger’s Community Auction and Flea Market is the largest open-air market in Ohio—and the tri-state area. Established in 1955, it’s not uncommon to see 50,000 visitors on just the Friday session. With a great location between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, the event features a range of merchants from around the Midwest bringing an excellent inventory of goods. The flea market is held on Fridays and Saturdays year-round. A monthly consignment auction is held on the second Tuesday of every month.
Where: 45625 Old State Rte 154, Rogers, Ohio
When: Friday and Saturdays
For More Information: www.rogersohio.com
7. Scott Antique Market Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia
More than 3,300 booths and merchants appear regularly at the Atlanta edition of Scott Antique Market. The market is located in two large warehouses by the airport at the Atlanta Expo the second weekend of each month. The sheer size of the show provides a vast collection of antiques ranging from the affordable to the high-end, making it a popular stop for dealers and interior designers. Scott Antique Market isn’t all antiques. Some vendors are resale boutiques of uniquely sourced new goods, and some have things that look like antiques might not be. Do your research. Ask questions. Be sure. Good advice for any show.
Where: 3650 Jonesboro Rd SE, Atlanta
When: Second weekend of every month: Thursday-Sunday
For More Information: www.scottantiquemarket.com
8. Springfield Antique Show & Flea Market Extravaganza, Springfield, Ohio
For more than 40 years, the Springfield Antique Show and Flea Market Extravaganza has been a unique Midwest experience for the antique and vintage lover. The flea market is held at Ohio’s Clark County Fairgrounds nine times a year. There are also extra market days called Extravaganzas on Friday-Sunday. On the market’s Extravaganza days, you can see up to 2,500 booths and merchants selling a range of merchandise from Mid-Century Modern, antique furniture, vintage quilts, decor, jewelry, silverware and other cool stuff.
Where: 4401 S Charleston Pike, Springfield, Ohio
When: Nine times a year in January, March, April, May, June, August, September, October and November.
For More Information: www.springfieldantiqueshow.com
9. Mile High Flea Market, Henderson, Colorado
Mile High Flea Market is the Rocky Mountain Region’s largest year-round, open-air shopping and entertainment destination. The 80-acre market with more than 3,000 outdoor vendors just may leave you breathless, of course that could be the altitude of 5,280 feet. Either way, the Mile High Flea Market is sure to have any treasure hunter breathing heavy. Only 10 minutes from downtown Denver, the enormous Mile High Flea Market features a full flea market and enclosed shops with discounted new and used merchandise, year-round farmers market, amusement rides, beer carts, food stands and sit-down restaurants, parties, seasonal events and live music. The venue is open Friday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: 7007 East 88th Ave., Henderson, Colorado
For More Information: www.milehighfleamarket.com
10. Shawano Wisconsin Flea Market, Shawano, Wisconsin
Shawano Wisconsin Flea Market may not be as large as some of the Big Boys on this list, but anyone who knows legendary promoter Bob Zurko knows why this event is special. Established more than 50 years ago, Zurko Promotions’ longest-running event is a Wisconsin tradition. Scrounge around Shawano long enough and you’ll become an honorary Cheesehead. About 40 miles northwest of Green Bay, Shawano runs every Sunday starting April 11 through October 17, except on Labor Day Weekend. It features more than 150 vendors, many of whom have been attending for years with plenty of merchandise to satisfy even the pickiest collector. Items include primitives, coins, stamps, folk art, glass, country chic, antiques, and more. The park-like setting, ample shade, abundant food, and a family-friendly atmosphere make this one of the best flea markets in the country. And yes, you’ll find cheese.
Where: Shawano County Fairgrounds. Shawano, Wisconsin
When: Every Sunday April 11-October 17, except Labor Day Weekend
For More Information: www.zurkopromotions.com