Texas Living

The Ultimate Flea Market Fantasy Awaits at Canton First Monday Trade Days


Over the past 150 years, what began as a small flea market in East Texas has morphed into Canton’s First Monday Trade Days. You will find a gigantic, 100-acre area chock full of everything from rustic home furnishings, antiques, and collectibles to custom jalapeño grill pans and clothing bursting with bling ― all in a combination of open air and covered buildings.

According to Noel Gross of Dallas, “We got the First Monday bug from my mother. She was an avid antiquer with a nose for decorative glassware and china, particularly when she could snag a piece at a bargain price!”

Canton Trade Days is the place to people-watch, converse with vendors, artisans, and collectors, and forget about calories. They don’t count here. From funnel cakes and homemade ice cream, to corn dogs and hand-cut fries, food concession vendors are cooking up every culinary treat you can imagine for shoppers to enjoy while browsing. As one reviewer put it, “the funnel cake will make you die of mouth pleasure.”

If you are new to Canton Trade Days, there are several things to keep in mind. First, wear comfortable shoes. And, oddly enough, despite its name, you can’t get a bargain in Canton on Mondays, as hours of operation are Thursday through Sunday.

Electric carts are available to those who need them; however, watch out for the carts zooming by and for the regulars who come prepared with shopping baskets ready to fill with that perfect find. Gross says, “The old-school movie theater seats I found on the cheap are probably my favorite find of all. But for our family, even when we leave Canton empty-handed, there’s treasure in the time shared.”

Many people come to Canton First Monday Trade Days out of tradition and to make memories. And although his mother has passed away, Gross and his father still maintain their Canton pilgrimages, “but with more of a junker bend. Dad’s happiest noodling through bins of rusty tools and car parts while I have an eagle eye for the weird.”

To learn more about Canton First Monday Trade Days, check dates, and access vendor info and maps, visit www.firstmondaycanton.com.