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It all started in the 1850's, when the circuit judge stopped in Canton on the FIRST MONDAY of each month. This was the day the Judge held court, and people from across the region would come to town on that day to conduct their business, stock their pantries and sit in on court proceedings.

Good things, it just seems, never die.

Welcome to First Monday Trade Days, Canton's world famous outdoor-indoor market, where world class shopping is yours for the taking and where throngs gather each month to celebrate the bounty of consumer goods large and small.

By 1965, FIRST MONDAY had outgrown the Town Square. It was then that the City of Canton purchased six acres just two blocks North of the courthouse. FIRST MONDAY was moved off the square. But that wasn't the only change from the original plan. Canton's FIRST MONDAY is no longer staged on a Monday, thoughb tradition won't allow the name to change.

You can do your own calculations: On YOUR calendar, locate the FIRST Monday of each month. Choose the Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday BEFORE that FIRST Monday. Rain or shine, the Canton Trade Days - like the show - must go on every month of the year.

Literally millions of visitors flock through the gates of the "show grounds" each year, as the 150 year tradition remains the largest single sellingpoint for a community that loves to stage the monthly party. Vendors from across the country, indeed the world, often travel to Canton to show their wares and sell their goods. There's practically no limit to the types of goods you'll find there. From the extravagant and flamboyount to the hand crafted and unusual, there is plenty to see, plenty to buy, and lots to do during the market.

Shoppers can browseover 3000 vendors for both new and used items, antiques and collectibles, rustic furniture, contemporary furniture, iron works, jewelry, baby items, knick knacks, pet items, toys, electronics, sewing material, silk flowers, windmills, fountains, candles, and even hairpieces where you can get a free makeover. Crafts of intricate design will catch your eye such as quilting, woodworking, or even a wallpaper border mounted creatively on a piece of tin to create a unique wall hanging. Another bonus is that many Canton residents also set up their own personal fruit and vegetable stands or hold yard sales to coincide with First Monday. You never know what you might find and you're sure to find something for everyone.

The shopping area covers a large expanse of open-air vendors as well as indoor vendors with heating and air conditioning. A trolley service is available to transport shoppers from some parking areas.

While residents and lovers of shopping from nearby Dallas-Ft. Worth frequent the market on a regular basis, it's easy to run into Midwesterners, visitors from both the East and West coasts, and even shoppers from as far away as China and India. Thousands of vendors bring countless truckloads of consumer goods to the market each month. If you can't find it in Canton, you probably can't find it at all.

But if you wander down to Canton to take in the monthly extravaganza, be prepared for an adventure. The market is so large that several huge pavillions have been erected to make the majority of shopping areas weather-proof. The Civic Center is reserved for antiques and collectibles, and offers climate controlled shopping year round.

And in spite of the vastness of the market, those with disabilities will find easy access, and can even rent a mobility scooter to get around the market area with ease.

Organizing officials of Trade Days warn that one day is never enough to see everything offered at the world class market. The community boasts of several RV parks and motels, but advance reservations are advised.

For more information about Canton's FIRST MONDAY Trade Days, visit the Official Web Site.
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