Texans flock to Canton Flea Market, biggest market in nation

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The ‘First Monday Trade Days’ flea market in Canton, Texas, also known as ‘First Monday Canton’, is hailed as the largest market in the world, according to their website. The next flea market event is being held from Dec. 3 to Dec. 6, since the flea market is open during the weekend before the first Monday of every month. The market hosts over 5,000 vendors, and camping grounds are open for customers and vendors to park their RVs.

Hanging off of an oak tree, a brightly colored Halloween sign directs the entrance to the “First Monday Trade Days” flea market in Canton, Texas. The market occurs during the weekend prior to the first Monday of each month. The weather on Saturday, Oct. 30, consisted of a blue sky with no clouds in sight. (Kalyani Rao)
Sweet trinkets and figurines are presented neatly on this seller’s table. Sunlight reflects off of the glass mirror that some of the items are placed on. “I think the classic vintage style of the figurings is so adorable,” Kalyani Rao said. “I wanted to capture the sereneness of the young boy.” (Kalyani Rao)
With the red and white contrasting the blue sky, American flags fly over one of the main areas of the flea market. A creek runs through the area, which is filled with trees. The vendors sell classic American items, and ironwork and hunting equipment can be found as well. (Kalyani Rao)
Stacked precisely, Hot Wheel cars are considered collectors’ items. Prices are varied, but these Hot Wheels were priced only at $1 each. Sellers kept their stalls neat and organized for buyers. (Kalyani Rao)
Paperback books, vintage and new, were sold for prices as low as $2 each. The aspect of flea markets is that they allow bargain hunters to purchase things that aren’t cheap, such as books, for much lower prices. Secondhand books can range from classic collectors’ novels to children’s picture books. (Kalyani Rao)
Browsing through, a traditionally-dressed man passes by a stall selling t-shirts and western wear. The common dress for those who attended the market included ranch style or “cowboy” fashion. The ‘First Monday Trade Days’ market is in a rural area of Texas, and an interesting array of Texans were present. (Kalyani Rao)
An old-fashioned croquet set rests on a table. Stalls sold unique items that couldn’t be purchased at the mall or from a box store. Sellers’ cars are visible in the background of the furthest stall selling paintings. (Kalyani Rao)
With clear skies and oak trees greeting them, the visitors enter the flea market. Wide paths and the outdoor venue created space for COVID-19 regulations to be followed. Visitors brought backpacks, and even wheelbarrows, to carry their purchases. (Kalyani Rao)
Representing his patriotism, a flea market vendor hangs an American flag over his wares. Camper vans and trailers of visitors and vendors are visible in the background. Vendors set up early in the morning and prepared for a long day of sales. (Kalyani Rao)
A red and white sign bids visitors goodbye at the entrance to the parking lot. The “First Monday” flea market has a complicated yet precise organization system going in the parking lot. Visitors must pay $5 at the gate, and follow directions to a space in the parking lot. (Kalyani Rao)