This post updated: Aug 17, 2016 @ 3:02 pm

Can you guess what the only thing better than a trip to the Canton Flea Market is?

It’s a trip to the Canton flea market with an empty cargo trailer!

Though it’s a hefty drive from Missouri, I connect with my parents who live across the border in Kansas and head to Texas about once a year to visit family in Dallas and make the pilgrimage to Ikea. (Fact: many of us who are design savvy but living in the Ikea-barren midwest literally plan family vacations around Ikea!) This was my first trip that coincided with First Monday Trade Days, however, and visiting the Canton Flea Market was definitely an experience on my bucket list- One I hope I’ll check many more times!

We spent a full day at Canton and saw very little of what was available! There were definitely some things we did right and some things we’ll do differently in the future. Here are a few tips for shopping Canton:

1. Pay for premium parking! I walked over 6 miles at the market and having our truck parked directly next to the entrance was absolutely worth the extra $5. The closest lots are run by off duty police and firefighters as a fundraiser, so your money benefits a community and you can (sort of) assume your vehicle is safe from the type of smash-and-grab theft common at large events.

2. My mother, who was nursing a knee injury, rented a scooter at the entrance. It ended up being the perfect little packhorse for all our bags and buckets and, um, giant yard-art herons made from scrap metal.

3. Always make an offer, even if you are willing to pay the asking price. I made 10 or 12 purchases at Canton and paid the asking price for nothing!

4. Does it go without saying that this is a place where the rules forbidding fanny packs in daily life are suspended? Do what you have to do to snag a treasure you’ll love for years! Be comfortable, safe, and keep your money close and your hands free to peruse. Like any big event, plan ahead for rain, sun, and expensive snacks and drinks.

Here are a few photos from our adventure

I was kind of grooving on this carved wood swan. He almost came home with me.


When I’m not sure about a piece, I take a mental note of the location, take a photo, and walk away.
If it’s still bugging me a few aisles later, I’ll go back and buy it.


Fun idea to modernize duck decoys


Metal yard art for sale at Canton. This winged heart almost stole my heart!
I had to snap a photo of these kids playing in the puddles from the previous night’s storm, they reminded me so much of my experience being a craft show exhibitor’s kid in the 80’s!


This won the prize for most interesting roadtrip sighting!
(Beats my last trip to Texas, when a dead cow strapped to a flatbed won the prize!)
One of my favorite things about visiting Texas? Their obsession with the shape of their own state.


3 thoughts on “Canton Flea Market Roadtrip”

  1. We go to Canton each year in October and November shopping for Christmas. Been doing it now for over 10 years with our Motorhome and park in the Dixie House lot with many friends we have met over the years. Great fun after the days shopping.

  2. I use regular white vinegar to remover rust, soak them, the
    longer the better, then wire brush them. I use a wire wheel on my grinder, but be very careful.

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