If you joined the crowd of 4,700 people attending the Finney County Historical Museum’s Flea Market Festival last summer, then you already have a good idea of what to expect when we host the 2018 festival of antiques, collectibles, art and crafts this year on July 14.

The day provides a chance to gather in the sun and shade of Finnup Park with friends and neighbors, as well as an opportunity to browse among 60 or more vendor booths from over a dozen Kansas and Oklahoma communities.

It also offers a venue where you’ll find several types of take-home and ready-to-eat treats and beverages, as well as a giant sale of gently-used merchandise spread across the museum’s outdoor patio and indoor meeting room.

Public admission is free, and the event runs 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., with access through the entry arches at Lee Richardson Zoo.

Backed in part by the Finney County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the market already has vendors signed up to offer antiques of all types and sizes, furniture included. There will also be a wide array of craft items, cowboy paraphernalia, household goods, hand-made purses, baby towels and centerpieces, wine bottle lights and wind chimes, scarves, fans, topical analgesics, cosmetics and skin care products, rustic and repurposed objects, crocheted pieces, aprons, signs, garden items and jewelry ranging from pendants and necklaces to earrings and bracelets.

We’re also expecting everything from pickles, canned goods, baked goods and quilts to glassware, dolls, leathercraft, educational information and quite a few booths with branded products such as bags, apparel, potpourri and additional items. We’ve been drawing vendors from as far east as the Pratt and Salina areas, and as far south as Oklahoma City, so visitors and shoppers can count on plenty of discoveries again this year.


Long-running event 

The museum’s Flea Market Festival is an established community event, inside Lee Richardson Zoo, with a nine-year tradition as of this summer. It’s sponsored as a fundraiser in support of the museum’s exhibits and programs by the Finney County Historical Society and should not be confused with other flea markets or bazars, either nonprofit or commercial.

Shoppers and browsers will find the visiting artists, artisans and entrepreneurs set up among the grass and trees of the zoo, primarily along the sidewalks, just south of the Finney County Museum. We specifically limit the number of vendors to 60 to 65, in order to preserve the quality of the gathering for everyone who participates or attends.

The festival is taking place in conjunction with the Jungle Run IV Auto Show, an extensive regional gathering of custom, classic and other vehicles of all types on the west green of the zoo, sponsored by Friends of Lee Richardson Zoo. Spectator hours to view all the cars, trucks and motorcycles will match the Flea Market Festival hours of 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and public entry to both events is through the zoo’s pedestrian arches near Fourth Street.


Registrations, donations and exhibits

We’ve already received more donated goods for the patio sale component of the festival than ever before, but anyone else interested in offering clean and functional garage sale or flea market-style items is welcome to call us at (620) 272-3664 or stop by the museum. We can accept just about anything except clothing, shoes, books or older-style CRT-screen televisions.

We’re also still accepting booth reservations, and it’s important, of course, to register soon.

The festival, by the way, is one of many museum-related opportunities coming up soon. We’ll be switching to summer exhibit hours at the museum right after Memorial Day on May 29, with our front doors opening from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays. Until then, exhibits are available 1 to 5 p.m. seven days weekly, except May 28.

In addition, the historic William Fulton House will be open for free tours from 2 to 4 p.m. most Saturdays and Sundays all summer, beginning June 2. Located southwest of the museum, the Folk Victorian home was built in 1884 by one of Garden City’s co-founders. You’ll find period furniture inside and surrounding gardens dedicated to the builder’s wife, Lettie, whose flowers inspired our community’s name.

Whether you’re interested in visiting our community’s past, visiting your neighbors and friends, or visiting with vendors of antiques, collectibles, art and crafts from a 200-mile radius, we’ll be looking for you this summer — especially on July 14 — at the Finney County Historical Museum.


Steve Quakenbush is the executive director of the Finney County Historical Society.