First Monday Trade Days--A Bargain Shoppers Dream
"A Rite of Passage--Canton, Texas"
After moving to the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex and meeting neighbors and future friends, certain questions always seemed to come up in conversation. Where have you moved from? Have you found a church? Did you ever hear of Canton First Mondays? Pretty much in that order...
We found a church home almost immediately. On weekends we explored the little Texas towns, each unique and friendly, but it took one and a half years before I experienced CANTON'S FIRST MONDAY TRADE DAYS--a rite of passage for anyone moving to this area.
Canton First Monday has been held for over one hundred and fifty years, making it the oldest of its kind in Texas. A bit confusing, in that it takes place on the weekend before the first Monday of each month.
As to how Canton's Trade Days began? Here's one version which was explained on the event's website:
The District Judge came to Canton on the First Monday of each month to convene court. At that time, horses roamed wild and free throughout the area. A law required these horses be brought into town, then auctioned. These strays were captured by the farmers and kept until the auction. Some referred to this as Horse Monday or First Monday.
Before long, people were hauling in their excess fresh produce, grain or sugar cane syrup, too. After a time, people began bringing in their own horses to be sold or traded. Soon it was pigs of all types, then dogs were added to the mix.
After many years, the monthly gathering had evolved into a disruptive, dirty event. Town fathers made the decision to set aside 6 1/2 acres as a trading area, divide it into spaces, rent each space for a fee depending on the type of merchandise. Canton First Monday has expanded to include over 100 acres, which accommodates more than 3,000 dealers.
EXPECT TO FIND: antiques, seasonal merchandise, discounted new merchandise, yummy food booths, collectibles, farm fresh produce and flea market items. Animals are still sold here in a specific area.