the trend to recycle pieces of the past and the eclectic style of
home decorating more popular than ever, this local flea market and
antique show is one of the hottest tickets around. Rain or shine,
people are waiting in line to pay the $4.50 admission price when the
door opens at 8 a.m. Ė ready and eager to scour the grounds where
nearly 450 dealers are displaying their wares in both indoor and
everywhere these days are decorating their homes with castoffs,
garage sale finds and found treasures. This is a style that gives
homeowners and decorators the right to place a battered and bruised
$2 chair with peeling paint right next to a crystal lamp or sterling
silver tray and feel good about it. And itís obvious by looking
through the racks of home design books and magazine layouts, most of
which prominently feature vintage objects, that this trend is here
the granddaddy of them all, the Brimfield, Mass., show with over
5,000 dealers, to the neighborhood garage sale, there are over 3,000
flea markets in the United States. And one of the best ones around
is only a short drive from Lincoln, where local dealers set up shop
next to dealers from across the country. And of course, part of the
fun of shopping at flea markets instead of the shopping malls and
discount stores is the atmosphere. Corn dogs, lemon shake-ups and
strawberry shortcakes are sold from stands right alongside the oak
rockers, garden chairs, antique quilts and graniteware, making it
all the more fun to browse and shop.
top of second column)
interior designers, home furnishing store owners and avid flea
market shoppers all agree that this style of decorating is so
popular because "anything goes." Dumpster digging,
"junking" and "picking," (what antique dealers
and those in the business call shopping for stuff), is all the rage.
Itís fun, itís challenging, itís a creative and inexpensive
way to personalize and furnish your home and Ė beware Ė itís
home without these
blankets for wrapping purchases
|Plenty of cash
lightweight tote bag, backpack or shopping cart
|Bungee cord, rope,
|A healthy dose of
good humor and spirit of adventure
course weíve all heard the stories about people who find some
dusty relic in their attic and it turns out to be a one-of-a-kind
worth lots of money Ė like the Los Angeles photographer who found
a Frank Lloyd Wright tea set in a pile of dusty junk at the Pasadena
flea market and bought it for $80, only to have it appraised later
for $30,000. But if you are shopping secondhand sources in hopes of
becoming a millionaire, that's probably not going to happen and youíre
missing the point. Of course you can usually get great deals and pay
well below retail price for items, but itís the many other aspects
of the experience which keeps shoppers coming back for more.
|A sampling of
some of the countryís largest flea markets
Flea Market and Auction
5Ĺ-hour drive from Lincoln. 1,000 vendors display wares
Tuesdays and Wednesdays from May to October in the heart of
northern Indiana Amish/Mennonite country. 213-587-5100.
Outdoor Antiques Shows, Massachusetts
granddaddy of them all. Three times a year. 2000 show dates are July 11-16 and
Sept. 5-10. Over 5000 dealers fill the quaint rural New England
countryside to sell their goods in a carnival-like atmosphere.
third Sunday of each month, April through November, at the
Interstate Center in Bloomington. 450 dealers. 319-829-3976.
Antiques Flea Market,
the first weekend of each month at the Kane County Fairgrounds.
708-377-2252. (within a three-hour drive from Lincoln)
at the fairgrounds, State Road 34, Sandwich. Dates vary.
312-227-4464. (within a three-hour drive from Lincoln)
markets, auctions, garage sales and estate sales are
listed in the classified sections of local newspapers.