Chicago flea market endures, offering 'anything and everything'

Swap O Rama sign, entrance to flea market
The Back of the Yards Swap-O-Rama location Photo credit Brandon Ison

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A Chicagoan can find just about anything at the Swap-O-Rama in the Back of the Yards neighborhood.

The indoor and outdoor flea market on South Ashland between 43rd and Pershing has long been a popular weekend destination. Dozens of vendors offer fruits and vegetables, imported items, clothing, electronics, lawn mowers -- or, as general manager Pat Burns says, "Anything and everything."

“The other day I saw a bicycle-powered blender. So, you mix up your pancake batter by getting on the bicycle and hitting the pedals,” he tells WBBM Newsradio.

Swap-O-Rama is open Saturdays and Sundays and Thursdays for 52 weeks of the year and seasonally on Tuesdays between April and November.

The flea market dates back to the late-1960s as a regional operation and today has three locations in the Chicago area, according to the Swap-O-Rama website. The Ashland Avenue location sees more than 20,000 people each weekend during peak season.

pans for sale at market
Cookware and other items for sale at the Swap-O-Rama flea market. Photo credit Brandon Ison

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Brandon Ison