Saturday, April 27, 2013

Wisconsin's Largest Outdoor Flea Market

I live in a small town in Wisconsin.  It has a population of 1200 people and I believe in the winter it is even less.  People either go south for the winter or hide in their homes at the first sign of snow.  In the winter, the specialty stores are very seldom open.  The Piggly Wiggly and recently a Dollar General are the only real stores open to the locals.  Oh yes, we do have a pharmacy, an A & W, a Subway, a Kwik Trip and a couple of banks.  We do not have any stoplights though.  Then the end of April happens and BAM!  The town explodes at least on Saturday morning.  Princeton has the largest outdoor flea market in Wisconsin. They say that the Legion Hall has the best brat fry in Wisconsin also.  Who is going to prove them wrong?  I don't know,  I have never had one of them because I don't eat brats, believe it or not.  It is a pretty large flea market though and last week it opened for its 39th season.

The restrooms are painted with murals.

Princeton has a large city park.  This is what it usually looks like during the week.  

There is no one around.  It looks completely abandoned.

They are trying to restore this community center on the property and during the flea market they have a large garage sale inside this building to help raise funds for repairs.

Even the parking lot across the street is completely empty.  Not a soul is in sight.

Then the end of April rolls around and everything changes.  It's like the town wakes up from a long winters nap.  It wakes up slowly but by mid summer this flea market is very crowded.  The Green Lake County area has a lot to offer, so it is a summer destination for many. 

The parking area fills with cars.

 The street fills with cars.  There are even crossing guards.

And the people start to roam around to look at all the treasures and food available for sale.

There are a lot of different food vendors.  There is kettle corn, hickory syrup and caramels to name a few.   The area has a large Amish population and they come with baked goods and products.  You have to come early for those because they sell out quickly. 
In the summer these sidewalks and grassy areas will be packed with people.

This company sells beef sticks, sausages etc.  There are also other vendors with different varieties of meat including Buffalo products from a local Buffalo ranch outside of town.
Then there are the usual flea market finds. 

Toys, glassware, comic books, plants and produce later in the summer.

There is something for everyone!

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