13 Great Summer Flea Markets and Antiques Shows

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Summer is flea market season. With sunny weather and vacation days ahead, the experts at Kovels have listed 13 top summer flea markets.

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Terry Kovel (left) with Judy Mathieu, one of the founders of Brimfield.

Summer is flea market season. With sunny weather and vacation days in mind, Kovels suggests 13 upcoming markets that are worth a trip. Some of these spectacular markets come around a few times a year, a few others are monthly. But each is renowned for its size, variety of items, negotiable prices and popularity among both locals and tourists.

1. Burton Antiques Market
Geauga County Fairgrounds, Burton, Ohio
Saturday, June 8, 2019
Now in its 57th year, this twice-a-year market is held rain or shine at Ohio’s oldest county fairgrounds. With dealers under tents on the racetrack and inside under the grandstand, dealers from across the United States and Canada will be displaying silver, fine china, jewelry, porcelain, glassware, textiles, paintings, Americana, furniture, decorative accessories, rugs, primitives, old tools and much, much more. This is the only antiques event in the United States where the show employees pick up your large purchases from the dealers for free and load the items in your vehicle. Burton is just east of Cleveland and is home to one of the largest Amish communities in the world. Admission prices: early buyer admission, 8 to 10 a.m. is $25; general admission from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. is $10; 1 to 4:30 p.m. is $5.

2. Rose Bowl Flea Market
The parking lot at the Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California
Second Sunday of every month: June 9, July 14 and August 11, 2019
This gathering on the second Sunday of every month is considered one of the best on the West Coast. It attracts as many as 2,500 vendors and 20,000 shoppers. Find clothes, shoes, jewelry, sunglasses, ceramics, glass, furniture, pictures, crafts, keepsakes, art, fabric, bikes, costumes, music — every imaginable type of merchandise. It’s open rain or shine. VIP admission (5 a.m. until 7 a.m.) is $20; early bird admission (7 until 8 a.m.) is $15; express admission (8 until 9 a.m.) is $12 and general admission (9 a.m. and after) is $9. There’s no charge after 3 p.m. Plenty of free parking, lots of food (from cheeseburgers to sushi), and even celebrity sightings.

3 Long Beach Antique Market
Veterans Stadium, Long Beach, California
Third Sundays: June 16, July 21 and August 18, 2019
6:30 a.m. until 2 p.m., $7; early admission from 5:30 a.m. until 6:30 a.m., $12; children under 12, free
The Long Beach Antique Market calls itself “The Flea Market with Style.” Over 800 sellers feature a huge selection of antiques, collectibles and everything chic, cheap, unique and vintage, all at bargain prices. Find collectibles, home decor, jewelry, furniture, vintage clothing and more. The sale is spread out over 20 acres at the Veterans Stadium in Long Beach. Come rain or shine, but please leave pets at home!

4. Scott Antique Market
Fayette County Fairgrounds, Washington Courthouse, Ohio
June 28 and 29, 2019
Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Scott Antique Market is held at the Fayette County Fairgrounds. Dealers are packed into the fairground’s buildings and lawns for indoor and outdoor shopping that showcases everything from paintings, silver and maps to furniture, rugs, instruments and much more. Scott’s also has shows in Atlanta (2019 dates: June 6-9, July 11-14, Aug. 8-11, and Sept. 12-15) and Columbus, Ohio, but this is Washington Courthouse’s time to shine. The shows are advertised as “America’s Favorite Treasure Hunt!” Admission $1.

5. Brimfield Flea Markets
Brimfield Town Hall, 23 Main St., Brimfield, Massachusetts
Tuesday, July 9 through Sunday, July 14, 2019
Opening times vary; most fields open early morning until late afternoon
Make your way to central Massachusetts to visit the market that attracts over 50,000 people three times a year in May, July, and September. This six-day Brimfield Flea Market started in 1959. Twenty-one independent show fields of dealers make up the market, and they have a staggered opening and closing schedule. This large market, stretched along a mile on both sides of Route 20, has become an exciting tradition that attracts visitors from many states and countries. Some fields have an admission fee of about $5 on the first day, but most are free. (Fall market is September 3 to 8, 2019.)

6. The Portland Expo Antique & Collectible Show
2060 N Marine Dr., Portland, Oregon
Friday, July 12, 2019 (Early Buyer’s Day – 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.)
Saturday, July 13 (9 a.m. until 6 p.m.) and Sunday, July 14, 2019 (10 a.m. until 4 p.m.)
Fall show: October 26 and 27, 2019
Fore more than 35 years, the Antique & Collectible Show at Portland Expo has billed itself as “America’s Largest.” There are more than 1,400 booths both inside and outside with exhibitors from all over the country – as well as other countries – who bring vintage clothing, glass, silver, antique radios, turn-of-the-century furniture, movie memorabilia, collectible toys, sports memorabilia, all kinds of toys from the 1880s to the 1960s, porcelain dolls, pop culture collectibles like Star Wars, Sci-Fi books, comics and much more. Ongoing demonstrations by the Portland-based Preservation Artisans Guild, a group dedicated to restoration work from woodworking and gilding to stained glass and painting. Admission is $8.00, good for both days, and there is an early buyer weekend badge option for $30.

7. The Fancy Flea – Summertime in Jane Austen’s Garden
RP Funding Center, 701 West Lime St., Lakeland, FL
Friday, July 19 and Saturday, July 20, 2019
Voted one of the “top vintage markets in the country,” The Fancy Flea features antiques; shabby chic; painted furniture; prairie, farmhouse, cottage and midcentury finds; repurposed items; primitives; garden décor; original art; and rustic and salvage pieces; vintage and handmade clothing, fabric and jewelry; and food trucks. Earlybird shopping: Friday 9 a.m. – 11 a.m., $10. Regular shopping: Friday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., $6. Parking is free.

8. Fredericksburg Trade Days
355 Sunday Farms lane, Fredericksburg, Texas
June 14 to 16, July 19 to 21, Aug 16 to 18, Sept. 20 to 22, 2019
Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
More than 400 vendors converge in Fredericksburg in Texas Hill Country on the weekend of the third Saturday of every month. Seven barns offer antiques, collectibles, shabby chic and ranch furniture, tools, crafts, hunting accessories, unique clothing, jewelry and much more. There is also a Biergarten and music. The $5 parking fee is valid all weekend.

9. 127 Corridor Sale
Thursday, August 1 through Sunday, August 4, 2019
Vendor hours vary
Called “The World’s Longest Yard Sale,” this flea market covers 690 miles and travels through 6 states from Addison, Michigan, to Gadsen, Alabama! It’s headquartered in Jamestown, Tenn. The sale features the eclectic collections of 2,200 vendors – individuals, families and groups, and each vendor decides their own hours during the days of the sale. The event attracts buyers and sellers from across the U.S. to wander, meet new people and buy unique goods. Get off the highway and travel the scenic route – it’s Americana at its best.

10. What Cheer Flea Market
Keokuk County Fairgrounds, 13061 170th St., What Cheer, Iowa
Friday, August 2 to Sunday, August 4, 20219
Friday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“Spring, Summer and Fall, A Treasure for All!” The three-times-a year What Cheer Flea Market was listed as one of the 11 don’t miss flea markets in the Midwest. It offers a variety of antiques, collectibles, furniture, midcentury modern, shabby chic, vintage jewelry, clothing, toys, advertising, glassware, postcards, baseball cards, comics, stamps, coins, military memorabilia, tools, primitives and much more. Admission is $2 on Friday and Saturday and free on Sunday. Early Bird Thursday is 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for a $5 entry fee.

11. Madison-Bouckville Antique Week
Route 20, Bouckville, N.Y. (37 miles southeast of Syracuse)
Monday, August 12 through Sunday, August 18, 2019
The annual Madison-Bouckville Antique Week brings collectors, buyers and and more than 2,000 dealers and vendors from all over to the largest antiques event in New York State and one of the largest outdoor events in the country. This week-long, town-wide, free-admission event features 14 show fields, food and fun.

12. Kane County Flea Market
525 S. Randall Road, St. Charles, Illinois
July 6 and 7, August 3 and 4, August 31 and September 1, 2019
Saturday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
If you live for collecting or are searching for antiques, sports collectibles, vinyl records, or that perfect piece of refurbished furniture, 600+ dealers, outside and in sheds, say you are sure to find what you came for. And more! About an hour west of Chicago, it’s a place movie makers, celebrators and collectors of all kinds go for the fun of searching and discovery.

13. Wheaton All-Night Flea Market
DuPage County Fairgrounds, 2015 Manchester Rd., Wheaton, Illinois
Saturday, August 17 to Sunday, August 18, 2019
3 p.m. until 3 a.m.
Once a year as the sun sets on the third Saturday of August, thousands of Chicagoland bargain hunters descend upon Wheaton, Illinois. Shoppers have from 3 p.m. until 3 a.m. to scour the stalls of hundreds of dealers throughout the night. A Kovels’ reader says this is the most fun you’ll ever have at a flea market. Shoppers arrive like giddy kids to a slumber party, and the air remains electrified with vintage items and treasures of all kinds, good music, farm fresh food and plenty of fun. Admission is $7; children under 12 are free with an adult.

Summer flea markets await thousands of antique enthusiasts and collectors – be sure to plan your visit soon. Kovels.com has more information and tips on navigating flea markets, negotiating smart deals and identifying original objects. Kovels’ booklet, Flea Market Strategies: How to Shop, Buy, and Bargain the 21st-Century Way, has tips on what to wear, what to bring along and how to negotiate. Also included, tips on spotting fakes, advice on how to pay for purchases, and a list of the latest smartphone apps to help buyers shop, share and ship. Available at KovelsOnlineStore.com.

About Kovels.com
Kovels.com, created by Terry Kovel and her daughter, Kim Kovel, provides collectors and researchers with up-to-date and accurate information on antiques and collectibles. The company was founded in 1953 by Terry Kovel and her late husband, Ralph. Since then, the Kovels have written more than 100 books and hundreds of articles about antiques, including the best-selling annual Kovels’ Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide. Their nationally syndicated antiques and collectibles newspaper column is distributed by King Features Syndicate to many newspapers nationwide. Terry and Ralph starred in television series on PBS, the Discovery Channel, and Home & Garden Television (HGTV). The website, Kovels.com, has been online since 1998. It offers more than a million free prices, and includes a free weekly email called “Kovels Komments,” giving readers a bird’s-eye view of the market through the latest news, auction reports, a Marks Dictionary, readers’ questions and answers and much more.

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Liz Lillis

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