Walworth County Fairgrounds has been an award-winning location since its opening on April 28, 1842. Since 1933, it has also been a premier destination for well-known musical acts like Johnny Cash and The Beach Boys. Almost a hundred and fifty years after opening, it added another reason to visit the Elkhorn Flea Market's beautiful grounds. According to Elkhorn Antique Flea Market, in 1982, antique enthusiasts felt that the Walworth County Fairgrounds was a perfect location for a flea market. Several collectors and dealers started working towards their goals. When the fleamarket first started, it was only fifty vendors. Over the last forty years, that number has grown to nearly five hundred. There are many reasons why this event has become so popular and well-known. These are the top 10 reasons to check out the Elkhorn Flea Market.
Even though the town of Elkhorn only has 10,000 people and there isn't much to see outside the flea market. Yet, it's only an hour away from the significant metropolis of Milwaukee, so it's a great spot to get away from the sprawling urban metropolis and enjoy a more relaxed pace. However, there's a winery, and if you visit late in the season, you may be able to take home some great finds and a bushel of apples from the local orchard.
2. Some good ink
If you grew up in the 80s, you probably remember Parade Magazine, the Sunday insert with all sorts of fun articles and information. Well, in a recent article, the seventy-year-old publication ran an article about the best flea markets around the country, and Elkhorn was one of the top picks.
3. It's not random
Some flea markets feel like a few good items lost amid Overstock.com or an extreme couponing horde. However, one thing that makes Elkhorn Flea Market stand out is that they are very cautious about what vendors they allow to be there. If someone has a booth with things that aren't unique or not high quality, they are not invited back.
Since the flea market has a lot of history, people have gotten to know each other over the years, so it feels more like visiting family and less like a typical junk mall shopping experience. As you walk through the booths, people are happy to learn what fantastic items you found and want to help and not just upsell.
5. Country Living
In a recent article posted on MSN, the popular website listed its picks for the best flea markets in the country and felt that Elkhorn was one of the best gems in the country. Much like other publications, the article noted the charm and atmosphere and the most extensive quality selection.
Aside from the large selection of merchandise vendors, you'll find some great food trucks with sweets and treats to sample. People strolling around the flea market can sample deep-fried cheese curds at Say Cheese. If you need a pick me up, Happy Camper Coffee has many local brews as well as pastries for a sugar fix. Snacking and walking are also not a problem since T. Best Concessions has snacks like classic Kettle Corn. If you've already walked several miles, the calories won't matter, so try a cream puff at Thelen's.
7. Coast to Coast
Country Sampler Magazine is a publication dedicated to giving their home a rustic vibe, complete with unique pieces that don't look like they belong in Ikea. In 2020, the magazine listed the top flea markets in the country, and the Elkhorn Flea Market was listed as number three.
8. Insider Scoop
According to Flea Market Insiders, the Elkhorn Flea Market is a great place to visit if you want to find something exciting and unique. After all, with so many different booths and vendors, you'll likely find anything from farm equipment to vintage advertisements. Another reason for the large variety of things is that although many people are seasoned antique professionals, others have cleaned out an attic and found some unique things to sell, so there'll be a wide variety of items to look through.
9. Proud state
Discover Wisconsin is the state's premier site for Wisconsin tourists. Additionally, they do a TV show that highlights some of the unique things about the condition. Besides cheese, The Green Bay Packers, and the well-known beer city, Elkhorn flea market was featured on an episode of the show. From its humble beginnings to its current size, it's one of those places you have to see once and will definitely want to visit again.
If you enjoy flea markets, chances are you look at Pinterest and think about your next project, and have tons of pins and other inspiration. The Elkhorn flea market is a great place to get inspiration and find unique pieces to give a second life. People have seen everything from old planters and birdcages. Who knows, maybe at the next booth, you'll find something that will work with the "I have no idea what I would do with it piece" at the last stall you visited. A few hours wandering around, and you'll have your house's next focal point.
There are several things to remember before visiting the flea market. First, it's crowded from open to close, so it's best to get there before the gates open if you want a decent parking space. Additionally, the fairgrounds are expansive, so good walking shoes and sunscreen are a must. Lastly, there is a five-dollar admission charge to get in, so make sure you have cash on hand for that and other purchases since many vendors don't take credit cards. The Elkhorn Flea Market is definitely an experience not to be missed.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson