This charming small Iowa town’s turn-of-the-century buildings, brick and tree-lined streets, country hospitality and existing antique malls and shops are the perfect setting for an annual antique show that’s not to be missed.
Held annually over Father’s Day weekend in June, the Walnut AMVETs Antique Show (its official name) attracts over 300 dealers from across the United States who set up their booths along several streets around the town center, restocking daily with newly displayed items. You read that correctly, there’s new stuff every day!
Stroll along the 17 blocks of dealers outside and two indoor halls, the Catholic Church yard, and visit the many shops downtown. They’ll keep you very busy (bring a buddy for another pair of eyes!) and you may need more than one day to see it all.
The Walnut Antique Show typically hosts more than 50,000 shoppers each year. June weather in Iowa is generally pleasant—not too hot and muggy yet but be prepared with comfy walking shoes. Use sunscreen and hydrate early and often (there are usually kids selling bottled water around the town). Take frequent breaks in the shade.
When you come to Walnut bring your appetite. The community organizations get involved by providing a variety of food for the crowds. Walnut’s firemen have breakfast perfected and feed hundreds at the Walnut Fire Station on Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning. Church groups do their part with everything from hamburgers, hot dogs and brats to roast pork sandwiches. If there’s one thing Iowa does right, it’s pork.
But don’t fill up just yet. There’s so much on offer that it helps to have a list of items you want to focus on. Carla’s on the hunt for vintage cabinets and unique furnishings. It didn’t take long for her to find something she had to have.
Of course, she’s also pretty jazzed about the vintage metal signs.
This vintage scale would look pretty cool on a porch or in a den.
You can find all kinds of things. Things you’ll recognize and some thing you’ll need to bust out Wikipedia for. Yes, even I’m too young to remember these.
Railroad collectibles always make great display pieces indoors or out. They’re also my daughter’s personal favorite.
This group of railroad lanterns was tempting. Not to mention the work table they’re sitting on!
You might even spot some stuff you didn’t know were cool, like flower frogs. Loved this display.
And I really wanted to take this fish-shape frog home.
Our best find (in case you didn’t think we actually shopped here)? This awesome vintage kitchen cabinet almost filled our vehicle but we found room for a heavy silverplate tray, a vintage seed box, an old wood school desk, a metal Coca-cola sign, railroad lanterns, and an old carpenter’s tool box. We would have bought more but we literally ran out of room.
On our way back to the parking lot, I caught sight of this fun porch just covered in unique birdhouses. Obviously the citizens of Walnut enjoy their flea market finds, too!
Plan to haggle at the show, but expect the best deals on Sunday. The show ends at 4 pm, and the bargains get better as the end of the show draws near. And while you’re there, don’t forget to visit the town’s year-round antique stores for more fantastic finds.
The 2017 35th Annual Walnut Antique Show will be held on Friday, June 16th from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, Saturday, June 17th from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, and Sunday, June 18th from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Walnut is located in western Iowa just south of Exit 46 off Interstate 80.
For general and dealer information about the show, phone 712-784-3710.
The Walnut Antique Show is solely promoted, sponsored and pad for by the Walnut AMVETS and offers free admission and parking.
If you want to plan a antiquing getaway anywhere in the country, check out our Flea Market Map. And if you know of a great market or town we’ve missed, submit the info on our handy form so we can add it to the map.
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