By Lisa K. Berton
On select days in May, July, and September, the population in Brimfield, Massachusetts grows nearly five times from roughly 4,000 to approximately 200,000. This sudden surge includes vendors, shoppers, porters, cooks, and a TV show crew. Everyone is in town for the infamous flea market which stretches roughly one mile long and fills over 20 fields on both sides of the road. Officially titled Brimfield Antiques and Collectibles Show, it has several nicknames like Brimfield Flea and Brimfield Antique Show. No matter the reference, it's the same event.
Whether you collect toys from your youth, Pyrex, or obscure art, Brimfield has it. Thinking of upcycling a bureau, factory parts, or ladders? Brimfield has it. Perhaps you're not looking for anything specific and just want to see what the hubbub is all about. Either way, the sheer size of the show can be overwhelming. Here's some guidance to get you going.
Upcoming 2018 show dates:
July 10-15 and September 4-9
A good landmark is the First Congregational Church, UCC at
20 Main St, Brimfield, MA 01010
Prices range from $5-$15. Spaces are available at nearby businesses, places of worship, and in many of the fields. Just make a note of where you parked. Plan ahead and bring a colorful balloon to float outside the car window.
Food trucks and vendors are scattered along Main Street. Some fields have a permanent stand and picnic tables. Commonly found options included burgers, fries, donuts, cookies, sandwiches, hot dogs, and subs. Additionally, International flavors include Japanese, Polish, Chinese, and Mexican. Lobster rolls, grilled cheese, potatoes, and BBQ are other popular items. You can also pack a lunch. At the very least, bring water and snacks. You'll need to stay hydrated and keep your energy level up for all the walking.
What to bring:
Cash, an ATM card, credit card, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, disinfectant wipes (portable toilets are rented by individual fields and upkeep varies), water, snacks, a backpack or cart, and sunblock.
What to wear:
Comfortable walking shoes (lots of gravel) and a hat. Dress for the weather and sorting through boxes.
What you'll find:
Jewelry, records, furniture, birdhouses, handbags, comics, toys, tools, paintings, games, electronics, shoes, lamps, coins, clothing, cameras, figurines, Disneyana, sports memorabilia, signs, militaria, hats, musical instruments, mirrors, fabric, scrap metal, ephemera, health and beauty products, and stuff you forgot about or didn't know existed.
Most fields are free to enter. There are a few that charge early birds.
Contact information for field managers and operating hours can be found here.
Flea Market Flip:
It's true, the TV show from host and executive producer, Lara Spencer, films at Brimfield. Ask folks if they've seen a film crew to learn where they are. For behind-the-scenes info, talk to vendors. You might catch them at the Grand Trunk field or near the Brimfield Barn.
For those traveling from afar, these nearby (5 - 40 miles away) attractions may help keep your family busy.