On the first Sunday in May, Martha and I dusted off our hunting gear (tote bags, wheeled cart, good walking shoes) and headed out at the crack of dawn for the opening of hunting season at the Tri-State Antique Market in Lawrenceburg. Since 1985, Tri-State Antique Market, “Indiana’s largest antiques and vintage only market”, has been THE place in the tri state for collectors, antique hounds, decorators and dealers.
It is located in Lawrenceburg on US 50 at the Dearborn County Fairgrounds (right across from the Hollywood Casino entrance). Show hours are 7am-3pm but they allow early bird shoppers any time after 6am during dealer set up. Entry fee is just $3 (under 18, free). The market is open on the first Sunday of each month, May-October, rain or shine (125+ vendors under cover)! There’s plenty of parking, restrooms (wheelchair accessible), paved walkways, food vendors and rest areas.
You’ll find 200+ dealers at every show with a wide variety of merchandise – primitives, architectural pieces, mid-century modern, furniture, glassware, china, toys, games, vintage kitchen treasures, jewelry & accessories….. All merchandise is required to be at least 30 years old and out of production. You will find something that you can’t live without! Some of my favorite things came from the Tri-State Antique Market.
When we owned a retail store, Martha & I spent many years shopping at the Tri-State Antique Market. Since retiring from the shop a couple of years ago, we hadn’t been back until this year. What were we thinking? We had such a fun time reconnecting with favorite dealers, hunting for treasures, laughing at some of the things we found (no, I’m not going to tell you what they were), trying on hats, enabling each other and admiring a whole lot of stuff. We’ll be up at the crack of dawn on the first Sunday of June, heading back to the Tri-State Antique Market. I’m hoping that the big red Bakelite hat pin is still available and maybe I need to start collecting some of these pearls!
Get there early – you might consider staying overnight (you won’t have to get up so early and you’ll have more energy to shop). Find places to stay & more at Visit Southeast Indiana. Wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather – it can be cold early in the season and hot in the summer.
Bring totes or carts to carry your loot. Most dealers will keep your purchases for later pickup. You can drive in to pick up. Just keep track of what you bought & where it is – we learned this the hard way!
Don’t be shy, ask the dealers for their best price – they are there to bargain. You’ll get a better deal if you bundle several items from the same dealer.
When it’s cold, do the middle & buildings first, then head to the shady spots. Reverse when it’s hot.
Pace yourself, take a break for something to eat & drink – try the molasses cookies in Agner Hall! Always get a bag of kettle corn for the road.