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Brimfield Antique Show - Brimfield, MASSACHUSETTS

The Brimfield Flea Market is held on six consecutive days in mid-May, July, and September. Local auctioneer Gordon Reid started the Brimfield Outdoor Market, now the largest in the country, in 1959 on a modest stage: his own backyard. Today, the Brimfield Antique Show is one of the best flea markets in the country.

Today, more than 1 million visitors flock to the Brimfield Antique Show each year to shop its unparalleled selection of affordable New England collectibles (weather vanes, decoys, and Nantucket baskets) and maritime accoutrements (brass lamps and ship’s wheels).

The way the Brimfield Antique Show works is quite unique: The flea market sprawls across more than 20 fields on either side of the main road that runs through Brimfield. Each field hosts thousands of vendors (there are usually more than 5,000 dealers at the Brimfield flea market) and has its own opening day. On these opening days, most fields charge a preview fee. So if you want to be one of the first to check out the merchandise, you should be there on opening day and pay the fee. That doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to see and buy without paying the preview fee. A schedule of when each field opens is available on site.

Three of the best acres at the Brimfield Antique Show are Dealers’ Choice, known for its quality rustic furniture; Heart-O-The Mart, favored for hobnail glassware and intact grain sacks; and J&J Auction Acres, filled with high-end items like colonial cherry chests and convex mirrors.

If you’re wondering how much time to devote to the show, know that three days isn’t too long to get an in-depth look at the Brimfield flea market. From a logistical standpoint, keep in mind that Brimfield has almost no hotels. So be prepared to book a hotel a few miles from the flea market and rent a car to get there. Since there is only one road through Brimfield, you may experience traffic jams at certain times. Parking is available in fields and around churches and usually costs about $10 per day.

If you’ve found a good bargain at the Brimfield Antique Show and don’t want the hassle of carrying it around for the rest of your trip, you can take advantage of the on-site shipping service. Be aware, however, that some seasoned flea market shoppers have found the cost of shipping to Europe to be prohibitive. Read our article on How to Get Your Flea Market Finds Home.

Brimfield is a true foodie’s flea market – even the food sold there has a regional bent. After a long day of browsing hundreds of booths, try the generous $10 lobster rolls, freshly popped kettle corn, and indulge in the Pilgrim Sandwich: a super soft bun topped with roasted turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and mayo. Until 2017, B.T.’s Smokehouse was the place to go for a real treat – but sadly, not this year. They make real pulled pork sandwiches that were an absolute delight. No wonder there were always long lines of people wanting to try them.

Best chance for a bargain: The slower markets of July and September may yield better deals than the crowded May excursion that serves as the region’s antiques season opener. Bring a hat, sunscreen and plenty of water. It can get hot and dusty, especially later in the season!

Many thanks to Marc L. for helping us improve this review with his own experience of the Brimfield flea market.    

Where: Brimfield Town Hall, 23 Main Street, Brimfield MA 01010 (show on Fleamapket)
During six consecutive days each in mid-May, July, and September. Next show dates.
Listing of Brimfield Antique Show on our interactive map
www.brimfield.com and www.brimfieldapp.com