By Chuck Woodbury
You have never seen anything like this unless you live in the areas of Dallas or Tyler, Texas, or have visited.
First Monday Trade Days is dubbed the largest flea market in the United States, spanning hundreds of acres. I spent five hours wandering around and didn’t see a third of what’s there. To do it right, spend a few days. There’s an RV park right on the premises (it isn’t much, but it’ll do while you shop).
It’s located in Canton, population 3,836, which is between Dallas and Tyler just off I-20. It’s open four days before the first Monday of every month.
There’s room for 6,000 vendors. A basic 10×20 outdoor booth goes for $50. I don’t think there are many consumer goods you won’t find. I was impressed with Rick and Lynda Saxton’s booth inside the Civic Center, where you can choose from about 250 wedding dresses for $10 each.
Or maybe you need a rusted license plate. Only $10. Need pots and pans? Choose from thousands. How about a stun gun? This is your place. Or maybe you need a tin shark. Yup, it’s here.
Oh, there’s good stuff, too, at great prices. Gail bought a small Waterford Crystal creamer for $5, far less than you’d find it elsewhere.
First Monday Trade Days has been going since the 1850s when the circuit judge stopped in Canton to hold court on the “first Monday” of each month. People from the area came to town to conduct their business, stock their pantries and sit in on court proceedings and maybe watch a few “hangings.”
Admission is free, but it’ll cost you $5 to park. Inside, good luck not getting lost. It’s like a giant maze. Just remember a landmark near where you entered and you’ll get out okay. Frankly, I walked in quite a few circles. Haven’t I seen this before?
Those of us who live in the far West talk about the huge flea market each winter in Quartzsite, Arizona, like it’s a really big deal. Well, it is! But it’s child’s play compared to what you find in Canton.
If you’re in the area, don’t miss this. It’s incredible! Learn more at the event’s website.