For some, the intoxicating smell of fall is rust.
Those are the folks who spend their autumn weekends looking for rusty junk salvaged from farm auctions that they can take home and make their own.
Other shoppers are hoping to find vintage items that have already been dusted off and refurbished or repurposed. Still others are looking for handmade crafts or art to add to their home and garden.
All of the above can start planning their weekends because the region surrounding Wichita is full of fall markets and arts and crafts fairs. Among the accompanying list of those events is a growing number of sales on farms or in barns, which can add to the thrill of the treasure hunt.
Within an hour of Wichita, you can visit a dairy farm to shop in its barn, venture onto the front pasture outside a 1930s farmhouse for a vintage market or take a road trip to Stone Barn Farm to find craft and “junk gypsy” vendors.
Beki Hastings saw a rustic revival coming back in 2010 and started what she believes was the first barn sale in Kansas. It became so popular – drawing as many as 7,000 shoppers for the one-day event – that it outgrew the barn on the 6-acre former hog farm near Hesston, about 30 miles northwest of Wichita. This year she is moving the Kansas Barn Sale, always held the first Saturday in October, to Lakeside Park in McPherson.
A few regulars have asked how a barn sale can continue with no barn, but Hastings said most are thrilled with the promise of parking on paved surfaces versus the fields and dirt roads that became a problem with rain. A change of venue, she said, doesn’t mean a loss of authenticity.
“The park has a lot of big, shady trees and it’s a great atmosphere,” Hastings said. “We’re bringing in antique trucks and the products that our vendors bring are still from farm auctions. We’ll still have the same feel and vibe, just a different location that’s much more shopper friendly.”
The vendors, she added, have created much of the atmosphere in the first seven years and that will continue at this year’s event, scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6.
“We jury the vendors pretty strictly to find the best of the best, because there are so many events now and we want ours to stand out,” she said. “We jury on product as well as their personality. Happy, jolly, joyful vendors makes for a good atmosphere for everybody.”
A newer addition to the area’s fall markets with a sense of place is Blue Truck Vintage Market, now in its third year. Rae and Rex Beck host the sale that attracts about 1,000 shoppers to their 5-acre homestead at 8217 N. Worthington Road in Buhler, about 40 miles northwest of Wichita.
This year’s event is 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22. Visitors park in a field and shop about 50 booths set up in the front pasture, just outside the family’s 1930s farmhouse. Like the Kansas Barn Sale, the Becks charge $5 entry per person 13 and older, a portion of which is donated to a local non-profit.
There are about five food vendors, including a local coffee roaster and a couple who make ice cream in flavors like Pumpkin Gingersnap, Meyer Lemon, and Sweet Corn and Blueberry. About 45 vendors are selling rustic crafts, vintage finds, art and baked goods. Rae Beck, a former teacher and now a stay-at-home mother of four, said she plans to keep the number capped at about 50.
“Many of our vendors are locals and we had no idea about all the great things they create before we started this,” she said. “We have a lot of fun and it’s built community spirit.”
Regional arts/crafts shows
Sept. 12-Oct. 27 National Crafts & Cowboy Festival, Branson, Mo., admission starting at $54.
Each fall, Silver Dollar City invites 125 visiting craftsman, including Best of Missouri Hands juried artists, to join the 1880s-style theme park’s 100 traditional craftsmen for this special event. New this year, the Cherokee Indian Trading Post presents Native American artisans demonstrating heritage crafts such as flute making, pottery and bow making, along with cooking demonstrations throughout September. The park is open Wednesdays through Sundays during this time. silverdollarcity.com
Sept. 13-15 Autumn Daze Arts, Crafts & Music Festival, Branson, Mo., free.
The 45th annual event includes a juried show in historic downtown Branson featuring more than 80 crafters and artists from across the Midwest. Shoppers will find a wide variety of items, including collectibles, wood crafts, ironworks, quilts, jewelry, crocheted and knitted items, with many vendors demonstrating their techniques. downtownbranson.org
Sept. 14-16 Autumn & Art, Bradley Fair, 2000 N. Rock, free.
In its ninth year, this juried fine arts show and sale features 100 artists from around the country. Original works available in 14 artistic media in booths along the Bradley Fair Parkway. Also: live performing arts, hands-on art projects and other children’s activities and artist demonstrations. autumnandart.com
Sept. 15 Hillsboro Arts & Crafts Fair, Hillsboro, free.
Taking place since 1970, this juried festival covers a six-block area in downtown Hillsboro with 300 vendors and more than 40,000 shoppers. The event has been rated among the top 100 arts and crafts shows in the country by Sunshine Artist magazine. hillsboroartsandcraftsfair.org
Sept. 15 Art in the Park and Craft Show, Marion, free. Held the same day as the Hillsboro fair and just 12 miles east. This 40th annual event offers 250 vendors selling ceramics, woodcrafts, leatherworks, bath and body products, local honey, pcycled and repurposed items and clothing, including vintage linen clothing.marionparksandrec.com
Sept. 15 Friends of Shawnee Town Arts & Crafts Fair & Fall Festival, Topeka, $1.
This 43rd annual event supports the Shawnee Town 1929 historical museum. Find more than 130 vendors selling handmade, homemade and repurposed items. Also, kids activities, live music and food. facebook.com/ShawneeTown1929
Sept. 15-16 Durango Autumn Arts Festival, Durango, Colo., free. A free downtown juried event highlighting fine art and fine craft by 100 makers from around the country. Also has a creation station for kids and live entertainment. durangoarts.org
Sept. 21-23 Plaza Art Fair, Kansas City, Mo., free.
This is one of the longest-running fine art events (87 years) in the nation and attracts a crowd of 250,000 to nine blocks of the Country Club Plaza. Shoppers will find three live music stages, more than 25 featured restaurant booths and 240 artists offering ceramics, jewelry, photography and more from across the country. plazaartfair.com
Sept. 22-23 UNPLAZA Art Fair, Kansas City, Mo., free.
Held in Southmoreland Park near the Plaza, this event has shadowed the Plaza Art Fair for the past 28 years. Its focus is on local artists, with a juried selection of nearly 100 displaying and selling art. peaceworkskc.org/unplaza
Sept. 22-23, Cider Days Fall Festival, Topeka, $7 ages 10 & up.
This 37-year-old event has grown into northeast Kansas’ largest arts and crafts show. Along with other festival activities, there are more than 250 booths at the Kansas Expocentre. topekaciderdays.com
Sept. 22 Outdoor Antique Market, Kechi, free.
Junk in the Trunk Emporium is coordinating 35 antique vintage vendors held in conjunction with other Kechi special events that day including a kite festival, glass blowing demonstrations, weaving demonstrations and open houses at other businesses. facebook.com/junkinthetrunkemporium
Sept. 22, Blue Truck Vintage Market, Buhler, $5 ages 13 & up.
Shop 50 vendors selling vintage and handmade items at this family farm. facebook.com/bluetruckvintagemarket
Sept. 22 Vintage Villa Fall Barn Sale, Douglass, free.
Find treasures of the repurposed and vintage varieties as well as direct sales booths. Food trucks, live music, a beer garden and kids’ entertainment. facebook.com/thevintagevillabarnsale
Sept. 29 Blue Sky Ranch Fall Market, Haysville, $2 per carload.
This is a fundraiser for the equine therapy ranch and includes indoor and outdoor crafter and vendor booths, as well as live music, car show, petting zoo and more activities. facebook.com/blueskyranchkansas
Sept. 29 Prairie Sun Outdoor Market at Souders Historical Farm Museum, 39925 W.39th St. S., Cheney, free.
Acres of local artisans, antiques, collectibles, new/used flea market finds and food are planned for this event as well as tours of the farm that depicts what life was like in Cheney and rural Kansas in the late 1880s and early1900s. facebook.com/prairiesunmarket
Sept. 29 Plaza District Festival, Oklahoma City, free.
Artist booths line NW 16th Street at this 20th annual arts festival in the heart of the city. See an array of Oklahoma’s performing and visual artists, and enjoy live music, children’s activities and food trucks and vendors. plazadistrict.org/festival
Sept. 29 Overland Park Fall Festival, Overland Park, free.
An arts and crafts fair is part of this festival that annually draws 30,000 to downtown Overland Park. More than 120 artisan booths will be set up in Santa Fe Commons Park for the 57thannual event. opkansas.org/fallfestival
Sept. 29 Vintage Camper Show & Vintage Market, Dexter, free.
Visitors can viewvintage campers on display at Stone Barn Farm and Log Cabins and shop the market’s craft and “junk gypsy” style booths. There’s also live music and food vendors. facebook.com/stonebarnfarmks
Sept. 29 Whimmydiddle Arts and Crafts Fair, Scott City, free.
One of the largest crafts shows in western Kansas, this event features 200 exhibitors from across the U.S. who arrive with original art, metal working, pottery and crafts in wood, fabric, jewelry, silk and dried flowers. whimmydiddle.org
Sept. 29 Canton Days Fall Flea & Craft Market, Canton, free.
Vintage, antique,handcrafted, upcycled, rustic, jewelry, baked goods, food vendors, boutique items at the McPherson County Fairgrounds in conjunction with Canton Days community-wide events. facebook.com/cantonfleamarkets/
Sept. 29-30 Vintage & Made Fair, Adel, Iowa, $6 ages 13 & up.
Held twice a year at Dallas County Fairgrounds west of Des Moines, organizers say you can find everything needed to create a vintage and handmade lifestyle at this fair started in 2014 and named to Buzzfeed’s list of “35 Indie Craft Fairs Every Creative Person Needs to Visit.” vintageandmadefair.com
Oct. 5-7 Ozark Arts & Crafts Show,Ozark, Mo., free.
This 44th annual show attracts more than 350 vendors and thousands of visitors from many states to Finley River Park. ozarkcraftfair.com
Oct. 5-6 Pumpkin Patch Arts and Crafts Fair, Manhattan, free.
Local vendors selling handmade and refurbished arts and crafts as well as exhibitors demonstrating various skills and trade at Cico Park. pumpkinpatchartsandcrafts.com
Oct. 6 Art in the Park, Winfield, $2 suggested donation.
Visitors will find food, wine tasting, demonstrations, entertainment, children’s art and a variety of local and regional artists’ booths at this 44th annual juried arts and crafts show in the town’s Island Park. winfieldarts.org
Oct. 6 Kansas Barn Sale, McPherson, $5 ages 13 & up.
For its eighth year, this arts and crafts sale is moving from the family farm near Hesston to Lakeside Park in McPherson. Handmade art and jewelry, antiques, junk, repurposed items, metal art, barn wood and more at 100 juried vendor booths. facebook.com/kansasbarnsale
Oct. 6 Hesston Antiques & Crafts Open Market, Hesston, free.
More than 50 vendors set up at Emma Creeks Antiques along with food trucks. facebook.com/EmmaCreeksAntiques
Oct. 12-14 Summit Art Festival, Lee’s Summit, Mo., free.
Fine art event held just outside Kansas City with about 90 national, regional and local artisans. summitartfest.org
Oct. 13 Keriel Dairy Fall Barn Sale, Whitewater, free.
The Wiebe family puts on two barn sales every year to supplement the farming income from Keriel Dairy. You’ll find about 45 vendors in and around the barn selling arts, crafts, antiques and edibles like peanut brittle. Homemade lunch and cupcakes for sale, too. facebook.com/KerielDairy
Oct. 13 Pretty Prairie Barn Bazaar, Pretty Prairie, free.
Now in its third year, theformer Collingwood Barn Bazaar has moved to the Pretty Prairie Rodeo grounds. Shop crafts, homemade goods, antiques, rusty junk and more. facebook.com/barnbazaar
Oct. 13 Rose Hill Vintage Marketplace and Rose Hill Craft Fair, Rose Hill, $2 ages 13 & up.
The annual Rose Hill Fall Festival includes a vintage market, at the Rose Hill Soccer Field, as well as a craft fair, filling two gyms at the school, both on Saturday. rosehillfallfestival.com
Oct. 13-14 Holiday Vintage World Market, Hutchinson, $5 ages 13 & up.
Vintage collections (indoor and outdoor), artisans, jewelry, holiday crafts, furniture and more in the Meadowlark Building at the Kansas State Fair Grounds.vintageworldmarket.com
Oct. 13-14 Sugar Mound Arts & Crafts Festival, Mound City, free.
Now in its 47th year, this event has grown from displaying art by Linn County artists in the 4-H building to more than 400 booths using every building at the fairgrounds to display all types of handcrafted items from local, regional and national artists. The festival attracts 10,000 to this town of about 700. sugarmoundartscrafts.com
Oct. 18-21 War Eagle Fair, Hindsville, Ark., free.
With a daily crowd of as many as 80,000 visitors, this is the premier arts and crafts fair in the Ozarks. More than 250 booths are set up on a large fairground along the banks of the War Eagle River in northwest Arkansas, offering handmade arts and crafts in every category. Adjacent to the fairgrounds you’ll find the War Eagle Mill Craft Fair and the Sharps’ Show, two more events with hundreds of vendors. wareaglefair.com
Oct. 20 Craftapalooza + Funky Junk Roundup, Century II, 225 W. Douglas, free.
This event brings together boutique merchants with sellers of handcrafted and vintage/antique items. montagefestivals.com
Oct. 28 Unique Antique Market, Sedgwick County Extension Center, 7001 W. 21st, free.
The 25th annual fall show has vendors selling vintage and antique jewelry, clothing, garden, home décor and more. facebook.com/unique.antique.market
Nov. 3 Sunflower Arts & Crafts Fair, Anthony, free.
Expect about 80 booths set up in the Anthony Municipal Hall for the 46th annual arts and crafts fair. anthonychamber.com
Nov. 9-11 Vintage Market Days, Hartman Arena, 8151 N, Hartman Arena Dr., Park City, $5 ages 13 & up.
Held in multiple cities and states, these three-day events focus on vintage and vintage-inspired jewelry, clothing and home décor, as well as architectural salvage and repurposed items. wichita.vintagemarketdays.com