Summer is flea market season. With sunny weather and vacation days in mind, we have 8 upcoming markets that are worth a trip. These great markets come around a few times a year, and each is renowned for its size, variety of items, negotiable prices and popularity. The list is in order by date.
1. Rose Bowl Flea Market
The parking lot at the Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA
Second Sunday of every month: July 8 and August 12, 2018
This gathering on the second Sunday of every month is considered to be 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. There’s no admission after 3 p.m., plenty of free parking, lots of food (from cheeseburgers to sushi), and even celebrity sightings.
2. Brimfield Flea Markets
Brimfield Town Hall, 23 Main St., Brimfield, Massachusetts
Tuesday, July 10 through Sunday, July 15, 2018
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.
3. The Portland Expo Antique & Collectible Show
2060 N Marine Dr., Portland, Oregon
Friday, July 13 (Early Buyer’s Day – 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.)
Saturday, July 14 (9 a.m. until 6 p.m.) and Sunday, July 15, 2018 (10 a.m. until 4 p.m.)
Celebrating its 37th year, the Antique & Collectible Show at Portland Expo bills itself as “America’s Largest.” There are more than 1,000 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 collectibles like Star Wars, Sci-Fi books, comics and much more. Admission is $8.00, good for both days, and there is an early buyer weekend badge option for $30.
4. Long Beach Antique Market
Veterans Stadium, Long Beach, California
Third Sundays: July 15 and August 19
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!
5. Midland Antique Festival
Midland County Fairgrounds, 6905 Eastman Ave., Midland, Michigan
July 21 and 22, 2018
Saturday 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
The Midland Antique Festival, in operation for over 45 years, is held in June, July and again in September (22 and 23), as well as at the Springfield Oaks County Park in Davisburg, Mich., October 6 and 7. Close to a thousand dealers from across the U.S. come to Michigan to display 80 acres of treasures in 7 buildings full of indoor stands. Outside there are even more vendors. The event features a coin and sports memorabilia building, shabby chic pieces, and heavy industrial items and hardware from across the Midwest, a car auction and sales lot, local Michigan food and live music. Admission is $6; children 11 and under are free. And there is free parking.
6. The Fancy flea – Down on the Farm
RP Funding Center, 701 West Lime St., Lakeland, FL
Friday, July 27 and Saturday, July 28, 2018
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.
7. 127 Corridor Sale
Thursday, August 2 through Sunday, August 5, 2018
Vendor hours vary
Called “The World’s Longest Yard Sale,” this flea market covers 690 miles and travels through 6 states between Addison, Michigan, and 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.
8. Madison-Bouckville Antique Week
Route 20, Bouckville, N.Y. (37 miles southeast of Syracuse)
Monday, August 13 through Sunday, August 19, 2018
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
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.