First Monday Trade Days at Canton, Texas

Shopper's Guide

I love the open air flea market in Canton, Texas. The weekend prior to the first Monday of each month marks the date for the market which has been a Texas tradition since 1850. If your planning to go, check out this guide to make the most out of your trip.

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What to Bring:

• Cash, and lots of it. While there are ATM's at the market, you don't want to be caught using one!

• Large sturdy bags to carry your purchases. I also suggest making a quick trip back to the car to drop off anything you may have purchased at The Civic Center and the first field section, before you go deeper into the market. A lighter load will make thrifting more enjoyable!

• A friend's truck, or even consider renting a U-haul trailer. We saw lots of people buying larger home-furnishing pieces (desks, dressers, doors, stained glass windows) who had rented a U-haul for the day to get everything safely home.

• Hat and sunglasses. It's Texas so it's hot and sunny. Since most of the market is outdoors you'll definitely regret leaving these at home!

• A "no buyers remorse" attitude. If you see something you like, act fast, it won't be there on your way back!

What to Purchase:

• The "Canton Cart." You can't miss this classic cart. You can buy them at the entrance of the market and at some stands inside. Everyone's got one, it's the cool thing to do.

• Something 'Texan.' A Sherrif's badge, a vintage state flag or a pair of cowboy boots, an item that will make the trip memorable.

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What to Hit:

• Canton Civic Center (see map). You'll find vintage jewelry, silver, china, all the more expensive flea market items in this building. It also has the cleanest bathrooms in the entire market! My favorite 'shop' (image 2) is in the Civic Center called Haney's Daughter. It's run by a sweet woman named Tammy who's got some really great classic vintage Western gear.

• The food — any of it! Towards the back of the market after the arbors and before the cemetery, the best food awaits: turkey legs, funnel cakes and more. The food is Texas State Fair-worthy; you won't be able to pass through without trying something!

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What to Avoid:

• Skip "The Arbors" (see map). While it may seem appealing at first (it's covered so you can get out of the sun), you will see a lot of the same stuff, and a lot of this stuff you could get at Bed Bath & Beyond. Nothing against Bed Bath & Beyond, but you won't be finding the vintage gems in The Arbors.

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For more information and additional tips, you can visit the Trade Days website.

Images: Robert Howl

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