At its inception, the Foire Des Andaines was a garage sale just like any other. There were roughly 50 vendors setting up shop over a weekend, and small crowds would patronize the event. This was back in the year 2000. Nearly 20 years on and this flea market has become one of the loveliest and largest fairs in Normandy. It takes place just once annually, so make sure to mark the date for the year and be ready to join the fun here.
There are more than 2000 sellers regularly attending the Foire Des Andaines. They stretch their stalls along a forest road between Saint Michel des Andaines and Bagnoles de l’Orne. The road is closed to all other traffic over the market weekend, and free parking is arranged in a neighboring field for visitors.
The Foire Des Andaines has vendors spread over a 5 km piece of road, which means it may indeed take the whole weekend to navigate! The hardened and experienced bargain hunters are easy to spot here, as they have trolleys in tow to make transportation of their acquired goods that much easier! There is so much to choose from here, from vintage French artwork, crockery and antique furniture, to comic collections, vintage home decor, antique farm machinery and architectural salvage items from late 19th century through mid-century homes and buildings. There is definitely something for everyone, and the struggle is often how best to carry around all the bargains you will find.
A huge effort is made by the organizers of the Foire Des Andaines to ensure that this fair is more than second-hand thrift shopping. It is mostly organized by volunteers, who all have a passion both for great vintage goods and bringing a buzz to the community. The venue itself offers so much for visitors too, being bordered by beautiful woodlands and creating a rather tranquil vibe alongside the bustling market. It is a wonderful blend, and it is easy to see why both customers and vendors return year after year.