Three Rivers flea market adding antiques

Published 2:29 pm Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Vendors and treasure hunters from all over southern Minnesota and northern Iowa will gather at the Mower County Fairgrounds in Austin Saturday and Sunday, June 7 and 8, to participate in the new Three River Days Antique and Flea Market.

The event started five years ago as strictly a flea market but a number of vendors and show-goers expressed their desire to have the show include antiques as well. Show hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 7 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 8.

“The name for the new show derives from the convergence of the three rivers here in Austin,” said organizer John Bridgeman. “The area has needed a show of this type for many years. The plan calls for the show to be an annual affair for many years into the future.”

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Bridgeman expects vendors from a 100 to 150 mile-radius of Austin, making it likely to exceed the 40 vendors last year’s show attracted.

Crafters, antiquers, treasure hunters and “junque collectors” will tempt buyers with their wares.

“There will be something for everybody and that’s no exaggeration,” said Bridgeman. “Today, even marbles sell big. I know of one that brought $1,200. Just think about that: Something we played with on the ground when we were kids brought that much money.”

Bridgeman admitted he is trying to resurrect the flea market from failure. “To be truthful, because of the high gas prices I don’t know how many vendors or buyers we will attract, but we’re trying our best to promote it and ensure that it is a fun-filled event for everyone,” Bridgeman said.

He also credited Ron Osmon and Karen Wolff with being instrumental in marketing the June 7 and 8 market excitement at the fairgrounds.

“They’ve done a great job and I appreciate their help very much,” Bridgeman said.

Food and refreshments will be sold on the fairgrounds throughout the show.

The Three River Days Antique and Flea Market will take place rain or shine thanks to the fairground buildings’ protection from the weather.

The Mower County Humane Society will have its own “flea market-within-the-flea market” to sell items as a fundraiser for the local animal shelter.

The MCHS joined the farigrounds’ flea market three years ago and moved their own popular fundraising sale to the new site, according to Melody Williamson, who is coordinating the sale for the MCHS.

“We started getting items last Sunday and we already have enough for a big sale,” said Williamson.

The MCHS will be in one of the new exhibition building.

“Just follow the MCHS signs to the sale,” said Williamson.

There is no pre-registration. Vendors may register on the day of the show.

For more information call the show promoter John Bridgeman at 433-2509 or the Mower County Fair office at 433-1868 or go to the Web site at