FLEA MARKET - RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
For the past 30 years, the flea market at Raleigh’s State Fairgrounds has popped up each and every weekend. With nearly a thousand vendors, it now boasts the largest collection of antiques, jewelry, and furniture in North Carolina. According to a write-up in Country Living magazine, anywhere from 5,000 to 35,000 people visit on a weekend, depending on the weather and season (the flea market shuts down the last week in September for the annual State Fair and tends to stay closed until the weather warms).
Although the flea market is known for its antiques, there are vendors outside and in buildings around the grounds that sell a multitude of items, including tools, clothing, pet supplies, fresh produce and other local farm products, and many hand-crafted and imported items. Food stalls sell funnel cakes, hot dogs, and grilled sweet corn (my mother’s favorite).
Last weekend my husband and I took the 35-mile drive from our rural town into the “big city” of Raleigh to pick up some goods. We left the dogs at home, regrettably, as they would have enjoyed mingling with all the other canines at the dog-friendly market. The husband was on the lookout for new and vintage tools (he scored big), while I was more concerned with shooting a roll of Pro 400H film through my vintage Bronica (although I did pick up some earrings and a laborite ring for $12). It’s a great place to spend a Saturday or Sunday; just bring your best bartering game and your most comfortable walking shoes. You’ll surely leave with that can’t-live-without item, and probably for a steal of a deal.
Guide note: The Raleigh Flea Market is located at the NC State Fairgrounds, 1025 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607. Open Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday, 9am-6pm. Re-opens for 2013 on November 9th. Tel: 919-899-3532.
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Brittany Kearns is a Guide to North Carolina. An honorary Southerner, she was born in New Jersey, but now calls rural Chatham County home. She’s got a degree in anthropology, a love for documentary photography and takes film over digital any day. Follow her on Tumblr at thebeekearns.tumblr.com and check out her portfolio at BrittanyKearns.com.