Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Spoon River Drive 2017

Well it sort of feels like Fall in Illinois. This week the 80 degree temps finally dipped a bit and allowed for boots and a light cardigan. With leaves changing comes pumpkin spice lattes, chunky sweaters, boots, apple cider, pumpkin-patching, plaid...you get the point. But maybe best of all, my most favorite weekend to kick off all things Fall: Spoon River Drive flea market weekend. 

Every year this event is on our calendar. My mom, sister and I load up in my dad's work van and travel the Spoon River Route popping in and out of vendors booths, antique shops, and flea markets. We typically fill every inch of the vehicle with treasures.
We usually follow about the same route every year, sometimes changing it up--sometimes not.

2016 Route:
Hannah City
Farmington
Canton

Hannah City: Go to Hannah City for the junk vendors. This town is typically filled with vendors on the side of the road, in parking lots and front yards. It's the first town on our route and a pretty good warm up. The can't-miss-it-stop is a guy selling antiques and junk in someone else's garage and driveway. Last year he told us it was his last year. We sincerely hope he lied to us.

I bought two of these tiny little school chairs for Ben for $5 each from the Hannah City garage man. He had a bunch of them, I should've snagged them all. Flea market regrets, sigh.




Off the Beaten Path: After Hannah City, we headed towards the next stop on our tour which is Farmington. Last year, we ventured away from the actual route a tad. We randomly followed signs for a 'BIG BIG SALE' to a sort of scary one lane gravel road into the woods. We were a tad nervous that we were being fooled into a kidnapping plot.

Quick side story: a few years back, we followed the random signs that said things like 'BIG BIG SALE' and 'TURN HERE FOR DEALS' and we did, and it was a bust. A super bust.
So why we decided to take another chance, I do not really know, but we were glad we did.  We were not kidnapped. We had actually hit the jackpot of junk stops. We ended up at an old farm house in the woods with a few barns---completely filled with junk. I mean filled. The new owners had bought the property completely full and were trying to make it through the stuff.
They were practically giving stuff away.  I can't even tell you what we all bought but this is what our vehicle looked like when we left.



What I do know is that I got this bar cart for $10. It was a rough looking golden beauty.


I cleaned it up and spray painted it ORB for my basement wine nook.



So basically the moral of my story is, if you see a bunch of random signs on Spoon River Drive telling you about a BIG BIG SALE, it may be the jackpot of all junk spots--or it may be a trick. May the odds ever be in your favor.


Farmington: I suggest you plan to spend some time in this town.

First, take a pit stop at the Moose Lodge's pancake breakfast for a quick bite. The food is very good and quick. Get the biscuits and gravy and a cinnamon roll to go! Plus, clean bathrooms. The parking lot all around the Moose is full of good vendors. Junk, antiques, crafts. We typically find a few good booths here.
There is pretty good sized craft show at the park in Farmington. We've skipped it the past few years. Mostly crafty stuff, less junk/antique stuff. But if crafts are your thing, go. Be sure to visit booth with the ladies who sell homemade breads and pastries, they have really delicious baked goods. Take home some raisin bread for the week.

Next, and most important, head to the fairgrounds. You have one goal for the Farmington Fairgrounds. One goal. Get the apple fritters. I mean it. If you do anything in Farmington, stop at the fairgrounds flea market and wait in the line for the apple fritters. The line looks sort of long, and it is long.  I promise after you take a bite of the warm apple fritters your only regret will be that you placed one order, and not two.
There are vendors all along the way to the fairground in town. Stop and see what they have to offer too. Then after you get your fill of fritters, take a walk around the flea market at the fairgrounds. Several rows of fun booths, plus tents fills with cheap socks and kitchen strainers.

Then turn around, and head towards Canton.



Canton: Again, go for the junk vendors. Junk vendors are everywhere along the Spoon River Drive. Stop when something catches your eye. Buy all the junk.

My mom bought these random drum things from one of our favorite vendors and I don't even know why...but my sister is lucky they didn't have more or she'd be calling herself an Uber.




That's it folks. I will try to post a recap of our weekend and flea market finds before Spoon River 2018, but don't count on it. If you want to find your own Spoon River Treasures, see below for info.


What: Spoon River Scenic Valley Drive
When: First two weekends in October; 7-8 and 14-15
Where: Fulton County, Illinois
More Info: http://www.spoonriverdrive.org/
2015 Let's Just Build a House Spoon River Recap: Spoon River Drive 2015
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