MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For bargain hunters, flea markets are a gold mine.

No matter how odd the item you’re looking for, there’s a good chance you’ll find it at a flea market.

So we wanted to find the best in Minnesota. Your votes sent me about an hour northwest of the Twin Cities to the Wright County Swappers’ Meet near Annandale.

That flea market, and others, seem to attract the most colorful personalities.

The reason might be this: No matter how strange an item is, at a flea market, there’s probably a buyer for it.

The Wright County Swappers’ Meet is no exception.

On a summer Saturday, you’ll find 200-300 vendors selling just about anything you can think of — from glass eyes to Beanie Babies.

Mike Esty is in his second season at the swapper’s meet.

“I pick all week, then I always try to bring something different, and that’s what I think they like, something they can’t buy in a store,” he said.

And it’s not just Mike.

On our trip, we found price tags on everything from animals to eats, instruments to vinyl records.

It all started more than four decades ago.

“Mom and dad started it in ’70, and then my dad passed away in 1982, and she ran it all the way till 2013,” said owner-operator Kevin Miller.

Gladys Miller, his mom, said she had no clue what a flea market was when they started the swappers’ meet.

But whatever the Millers did, it worked.

“We had five dealers the first time,” Gladys said, “and then it gradually kind of increased.”

Now the flea market covers more than five acres. Even though Gladys has passed the business on to her son, she still has high hopes for it.

“It’s just to keep it going, I guess, and I hope it’ll keep going,” Gladys said.

The swappers’ meet is open every Saturday from sun-up until early afternoon through the end of October.

Since it’s an outdoor market, it is dependent on the weather.


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