Caesar Creek Flea Market, midway between Cincinnati and Columbus along Interstate 71, is one of the largest permanent flea markets in the Midwest – and also part of an impressive lineup of similar flea markets in Ohio, each a travel destination in their own right (like for instance the renown Rogers Flea Market and Hartville Flea Market and Marketplace). Open weekends year-round, the 25-acre complex is anchored by a climate-controlled main building containing 480 vendor spaces, canopied outdoor spaces for 120 dealers, and a parking lot which can hold hundreds more.
Currently, Caesar Creek Flea Market hosts 200 vendors inside, many occupying multiple booths. Some of those shops have been with Caesar Creek for over two decades. Many of the vendors under the canopy are semi-permanent, returning each weekend. The parking area at Caesar Creek Flea Market will get 50 to 60 dealers most weekends but when the weather is good it can be significantly more.
About a third of the vendors selling at Caesar Creek Flea Market, whether indoors or out, carry vintage, antique, or collectible merchandise. A typical visit through the parking lot will yield a good array of items, like antique tools, petroliana, architectural salvage, and sports memorabilia. Pricing is typically very good; in fact, it’s common to see antique dealers shop Caesar Creek to find merchandise for resale.
In the parking lot: American Stove Company cast iron gas stove – photo courtesy: Caesar Creek Flea Market
1910 Millers-Falls peddle scroll saw, $350 – photo courtesy: Caesar Creek Flea Market
Some of the petroliana and advertising available in the parking area – photo courtesy: Caesar Creek Flea Market
Vintage Burke James photo paper cutter photo courtesy Caesar Creek Flea Market
Anchor Hocking chip & dip bowl, $12 – photo courtesy: Caesar Creek Flea Market
The volume of crafts and new merchandise sold in the indoor area of Caesar Creek Flea Market, is greater than found outside, but there’s still plenty of antique and vintage merchandise to be found. Everything from farmhouse and primitives, to mid-century furniture, and even 1970s-era electronics, await buyers down the many hallways.
Auctioneer Eric Wait occupies several spaces in the main building of Caesar Creek Flea Market and conducts live auctions every other Saturday from that location. For the last two years, the 3rd-generation auctioneer has rented those booths as an alternative to traditional commercial space. He notes that live auctioneers are facing a lot of financial pressure from online auctions; the cost-effective space that he has at Caesar Creek helps him keep overhead down and his live auctions open.
Trunk – photo courtesy: Caesar Creek Flea Market
Exide Battery sign, $500 – photo courtesy: Caesar Creek Flea Market
Record Stand – photo courtesy: Caesar Creek Flea Market
30” wood ship model, $400 – photo courtesy: Caesar Creek Flea Market
Glassware like this Gilley water pitcher is readily available – photo courtesy: Caesar Creek Flea Market
70’s-era Channel Master stereo with speakers – photo courtesy: Caesar Creek Flea Market
In addition to the great shopping, Caesar Creek Flea Market offers guests a weekly roster of entertainment. And, food is available both at their indoor concession area and from food trucks outside. Mary Burr, the new general manager wants to make Caesar Creek Flea Market even more of a family destination and is adding more food trucks and additional family-friendly events like DIY workshops.
In the summer of 2018, Caesar Creek Flea Market hosted its July 4th Flea Spectacular that included a Mason jar lantern-making workshop. That family-friendliness draws from 4,000 to 6,000 shoppers on a typical weekend. President Al Bell believes the number can reach 10,000 to 12,000 as they continue to make Caesar Creek Flea Market even more of a multi-faceted destination with visitors coming to “make a day” of their visit.
Where: 7763 OH-73, Wilmington, OH 45177, USA (Caesar Creek Flea Market is located off exit 45 of I-71. Onsite parking is $2) When: Saturdays and Sundays 09:00 – 17:00, rain or shine. Website: http://caesarcreek.com/
Featured image: Caesar Creek Flea Market Ohio – photo by E. Zeller – here4now.typepad.com