Thursday, March 30, 2023



Texas flea market puts all others to shame

First Monday Trade Days

By Chuck Woodbury
You have never seen anything like this unless you live in the areas of Dallas or Tyler, Texas, or have visited.

The RV park

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.

Buy fine clothing

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.

Dine on a jumbo hot dog. Or partake of good BBQ elsewhere.

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.”

Five-foot tin shark

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.




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Jay Ward
5 years ago

This is the big daddy of them all. When we go we usually stay across the main highway at Mill Creek RV Resort. They have a free shuttle from there to the trade days every hour, all day. And Mill Creek is a top rated park! If you are in North Texas it’s a must see.

5 years ago

We’ve been a couple of times and thoroughly enjoyed it. If flea markets are your thing this one will not disappoint. Camping there is not bad if you avoid the paved campground on site. There are others very close that much better. Don’t go for the camping go for the flea market and the camper will be an excellent base of operations. It takes a minimum of three days to see this place. As someone else said, make sure and pick your weather conditions.

J. Martinez
5 years ago

Yep, it is very nice. No place like it. Been a few times and would love to go again when the weather is 70 degrees and no rain.

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