White Cloud and Sparks Flea Market

Open for business!

For one weekend in the spring and one weekend in the fall, the small towns of White Cloud and Sparks, KS turn into one big flea market. Sparks and White Cloud are about ten miles apart and host 100s of antique and flea market vendors selling all sorts of things from the rusty-and-dusty to true vintage gems. The weather was spectacular — clear skies, sunny and warm with just enough breeze to keep us cool. We couldn’t have asked for better circumstances.

Hark, who do I see there?

White Cloud along the Missouri River

We left Kansas City at the crack of dawn in order to get to White Cloud early enough to get the good stuff. White Cloud has been hosting this flea market for years but the small town has almost nothing left but this biennial flea market. Many of the shops along the main street open their doors on these two weekends only and have the dust and disrepair to prove it. Out on the streets though, vendors roll up in trucks, vans and RVs with all sorts of goods to sell and things to eat. After one particularly scary indoor shops, we spent most of the morning wandering along the street perusing tables of goods. We stopped at one food-vendor-on-wheels and got hot dogs, lemonade and homemade donuts for lunch and sat in the White Cloud park to eat.

Kettle Corn sign

After lunch, we headed back south to Sparks and the mayhem of 300+ vendors. It literally becomes a small town of antique and junk dealers and I kept get lost and turned around down the winding paths between tents, RVs and ramshackle buildings. There is even a PA system announcing lost-and-found and people who become separated from their companions. The announcer gets more feisty and ornary as the day goes on making announcements about husbands who have misplaced their mistresses and men who’ve lost track of their handsome girlfriends (and if they don’t hurry up, some other smart fella might claim her first).

Welcome to Sparks Annual Picnic!

Had to snap a pic of myself in the child's hat

Fabulous soda bottles

A whole bucket full of vintage prize ribbons

We scored a lot of wonderful items and didn’t spend beyond our budget. I’ll be posting photos of my goodies in the coming days but I thought I’d share pictures of the actual event first.

Last car at the end of the road...

See all the photos from our trip to White Cloud and Sparks in my Flickr set.

Starburst break!

For those curious about what a well-heeled vintage girl wears to a dusty flea market, let me tell you! I wore my Stop Staring jeans rolled up high so they didn’t get muddy cuffs, saddle shoes and white bobby socks with my retro beaded black cardigan. I packed my wellies in the car in case it was muddy and I needed to switch shoes. Mostly it was just dusty. I carried my tapestry purse and definitely needed my Lulu Guiness sunglasses. I got a bit of sunburn on my neck because I wasn’t expecting it to be so sunny and warm and forgot to apply liberal amounts of sunscreen.

Hopping in the car and heading to Sparks

My vintage boy wore a thrifted shirt in plaid cotton blend, his favorite new black straw porkpie hat with yellow feather, Levi’s 501s and Blundstone boots. In his pocket is a classic mechanical pencil and his Field Notes pocket notebook from the State Fair series — Alabama, of course.