Cece Hampton ’24
If you love antiques, vintage clothes, food, and more; then listen up! Three times per year, the world-famous Brimfield Flea Markets take place just under an hour drive from the Trinity College campus. Open in May, July, and September, this expansive bazaar of antiques, vintage clothes, and other knickknacks occupies almost a mile of Brimfield, Massachusetts. For one week during each of these months, the market welcomes visitors from all over the United States—even other parts of the world. License plates from distant states like Montana and Michigan can be spotted amidst a plethora of trailers, wagons, and U-Haul trucks in the grassy lots surrounding the fairgrounds. Massachusetts State Police estimate that there are several thousand vendors at the flea market and that over 50,000 shoppers attend each summer.
Operating for more than 50 years, this flea market is considered one of the oldest outdoor antique events. Vendors at the flea market boast everything from colorful glassware and Cold War-era Soviet propaganda posters to extravagant chandeliers and leather rings made from old cowboy boots. The most recent exhibition just took place from September 6th to September 11th and was the last of the season. Although the end of the summer is known to have a lesser selection of goods to choose from (which is hard to believe considering how overwhelmingly vast the market stretches), it can be the best time to score major deals. It is not uncommon to find vendors selling items for less than half of the price they were marked at the beginning of the summer. Taking into account the unbelievable size and scope of the market, spending an entire day there only allows you to scratch the very surface of all that Brimfield has to offer. This remains true even at the end of the summer when many vendors have reduced stocks.
Another cool aspect of Brimfield is that virtually anyone can become a vendor there. Many vendors travel far and wide to set up shop at the market. What is especially noteworthy is the number of young entrepreneurs selling their products there, from handmade goods to specially curated vintage clothing collections. If you are an artist or budding entrepreneur, Brimfield could be your launchpad!
Aside from the extensive selection of merchandise available for shoppers and bargain hunters, foodies will also take an interest here. Local food trucks brandish menus stacked with all kinds of foods and beverages. From gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches to classic carnival favorites like hot dogs and fried dough, it is possible to spend several days here and eat something wildly different but equally delicious for each meal.
At the Brimfield Flea Markets, there is something for everyone. If you have not yet been, mark your calendar! Brimfield will kick off its summer 2023 season starting May 9th of next year. Hope to see you there!