I went to my first Canton Flea Market in 2015. I came too late in the day, spent two hours fighting traffic to get to Canton, missed half of the shopping because I didn’t know there was more than what was on the Square, and had to park several miles away. Nevertheless, I was hooked. I bought lots of things and immediately put the date of the next Canton Flea Market on my calendar so I wouldn’t miss it. Four years and nine Canton Flea Markets later, I consider myself an expert.
The Canton Flea Market is a shopping extravaganza taking place the second Thursday in May and October from 7 AM to 4 PM. More than 1,000 vendors from across the country take over the city of Canton, Mississippi selling their handmade items. Shop clothing, home decor, furniture, bath products, pottery, artwork, food, gifts, and jewelry–just to name a few Canton Flea Market finds. It’s a lot of fun, but overwhelming, especially if you’re a first time visitor.
Here are 8 tips for the Canton Flea Market to help make the most of this fun Mississippi event!
1. Arrive Early
Although the Canton Flea Market doesn’t “start” until 7 AM, people will arrive in Canton to shop at 6 AM. I recommend getting there at 6:30 AM. You can beat the crowd and shop during the coolest part of the day (which is important for the May Flea Market!).
2. Parking Is Not Free
Parking near the Flea Market is not free–it ranges from $5 to $20. I always park at the First Baptist Church (3316 S Liberty St). It costs $20, but I’m in the middle of the shopping and can stop by my car to drop things off.
3. Bring Water
Shopping makes you thirsty! While there are vendors selling water, but I always bring my own.
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4. Be Strategic
The Canton Flea Market is overwhelming. There are vendors set up on the Historic Canton Square, around the Square, on the streets beside of the Square, and a few streets off of the Square.
I shop East Fulton and Peace Street first (cut through on Lyon Street). Then, I retrace my steps back to the car and take a break. When I’ve regrouped (and dropped off my purchases), I shop on and around the Canton Square.
5. If You Want It, Buy It!
Many items at the Canton Flea Market are one-of-a-kind. If you are indecisive about buying something, it may not be there if you decide you want it later. Plus, you might not remember where the vendor was set up. This has happened to me several times.
That being said, make sure you can carry what you buy.
6. Bring Cash
Not all vendors accept credit cards, so it’s best to be prepared. There are several ATMs near the Square if you need them (Regions, Trustmark, BankPlus).
7. Dress Appropriately
You will definitely want to wear tennis shoes and it’s always a good idea to bring a rain jacket. You may also want to dress in layers so you can take them off as the temperature heats up.
8. Beat The Traffic
I beat the traffic by driving on Highway 51 from Madison.
Coming from South of Canton, I take I-55 North, get off at the Nissan Parkway (Exit 118A), merge onto the Nissan Parkway, and turn left onto US 51-North. The First Baptist Church (Tip #2) is on my right before I get to the Canton Square. I leave the same way.
Canton Flea Market Notes
The Canton Flea Market takes place rain or shine.
There are a few food vendors–but it’s all fried food.
With so many people in the area, cell phones do not usually work.
Sometimes churches will let you use their restrooms if you give a donation, otherwise there are a few porta potties.
Have Fun Shopping
Well, those are our 8 tips for the Canton Flea Market. We hope you have fun shopping and enjoy your time in Canton, Mississippi!
Check out some of our other Mississippi posts:
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