CANTON, MS (WLBT) - The shoppers started arriving in the Canton square Thursday around 5 in the morning, hoping to beat the heat and the crowds at one of the metro area's biggest shopping events.
"I've never seen anything like it. All the vendors. I've been to flea markets, but this is amazing," said Hawes. "This is my first time."
And for many, once they come to the Canton Flea Market, they get hooked. Lori Barr hasn't missed a show in 19 years- even if it means waking up in the middle of the night to drive in from Louisiana.
"I've made friends here. It's fun, I just love it. Good food. It's just fun. I like to spend money!"
But Barr says her spending power has been shrinking in tough times; her husband put her on a budget.
Veteran shoppers like Judy Griffin of Pearl had this advice for those on a budget.
"You want to shop around," advised Griffin. "A lot of the vendors have the same thing, so you want to shop around and get the best buy."
With about a thousand vendors from across the country, there are hundreds of wares to choose from.
Barbara Vega drives from Springfield, MO to sell her pottery. She hasn't missed a flea market for the last 15 years.
"The atmosphere, the scenery, the courthouse is just great, and the people are so friendly here," said Vega.
Vega said her first customer made a purchase around 6:15 am this year.
"It seems like, to me, it started out this year a little better. So I'm thinking the sales are picking up. People are now starting to spend, where they were a little hesitant last year," said Vega.
Traditionally, the spring show is smaller than the fall show. The Canton Flea Market is, which are held on the second Thursday in May and October. Still, vendors say they expect tens of thousands of shoppers to come through.
"We can't beat this show. We do 27 shows a year. By far, this has always been our best show," Sara Rutherford, owner of J & S Designs in Tupelo.
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