The Brimfield Antique Show isn't just any flea market; it's a revered institution among antique enthusiasts, and it proudly stands as one of the finest flea markets in the United States. This semi-annual extravaganza, held over six consecutive days three times a year, draws over a million visitors annually. What began as a modest backyard gathering in 1959, hosted by local auctioneer Gordon Reid, has blossomed into the country's largest outdoor market, boasting a rich tapestry of history, culture, and collectibles.
Nestled in Brimfield, Massachusetts, this sprawling antique show is a treasure trove for avid collectors and curious shoppers alike. It beckons with an exceptional selection of New England collectibles, including iconic weather vanes, decoys, and Nantucket baskets. Maritime enthusiasts will be delighted by the array of brass lamps and ships' wheels that evoke the spirit of the sea.
What sets the Brimfield flea market apart is its unique layout. The show spans more than 20 expansive fields on both sides of the main road that meanders through Brimfield. Each field plays host to thousands of vendors, and what makes it even more intriguing is that each field has its opening day. On these special opening days, most fields charge a preview fee, offering early birds a chance to be among the first to peruse the treasures. However, if you're looking to save on fees, rest assured that there's still plenty to see and buy without shelling out extra cash.
To navigate this treasure trove effectively, visitors can consult an on-site schedule detailing when each field opens. Alternatively, you can download the Brimfield Flea Finder App, a helpful tool to plan your Brimfield adventure and ensure you don't miss any must-visit fields.
Among the standout fields at the Brimfield flea market are Dealer's Choice, renowned for its top-quality rustic furniture; Heart-O-The Mart, favored for its hobnail glassware and intact grain sacks; and J&J Auction Acres, where high-end items like colonial cherrywood chests and convex mirrors await discerning buyers.
Planning a visit to the Brimfield Antique Show requires some logistics. The town has few hotels, so it's advisable to book accommodations a few kilometers away and arrange for a rental car to reach the market. Given that there's only one road through Brimfield, be prepared for occasional traffic jams, especially during peak hours. Parking is available on fields and around local churches, usually costing around $10 per day.
Once you've unearthed your prized finds at the Brimfield flea market, you might wonder how to transport them without hassle. Thankfully, the market offers a shipping service on-site. However, international shoppers should be aware that shipping costs to Europe can be substantial.
Even the culinary offerings at Brimfield have a distinct regional flair. Don't miss the generously sized $10 lobster rolls, the irresistible fresh-popped kettle corn, and the indulgent Pilgrim Sandwich—a soft roll layered with roasted turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and mayo. While 'B.T.'s Smokehouse' was once a crowd favorite for their delectable 'Pulled Pork' sandwiches, it's worth noting that it wasn't available in 2017. These sandwiches were a true delight, with owner Brian Treitman dedicating hours to smoking the meat to perfection.
For those seeking the best bargains at the Brimfield flea market, the slower July and September markets may yield better deals than the crowded May outing, which serves as the region's antiquing season opener. Be sure to pack a hat, sunscreen, and plenty of hydration, as the weather can get scorching and dusty, particularly during the May event.
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