Rogers Open-Air Market worth a trip

We travel all over the great atate of Ohio for our television show to bring you some of the exciting and unique things happening in Ohio country. Our recent trip to Rogers, Ohio, certainly showed us something unique.

First, Rogers is located on a bee-line traveling east on U.S. Route 30 almost to Pennsylvania. It really is a beautiful drive — especially past the Lisbon area traveling the final stretch on State Route 154 into Rogers. I could only imagine how pretty it must be in the fall as the winding, hilly roads are enveloped by these huge overgrown trees that seem to create a green canvas through the countryside.

You’ll arrive at Rogers Community Auction and Open-Air Market (the formal name) before you actually get to Rogers the town — and let me tell you — you will not miss it! I was in awe by the shear size of this place — and the day that I arrived for the video shoot I was told by one of the owners (Wade Baer) that it was only 65 percent full because of the weather. Their are so many outdoor booths and activities that the weather has a major part in how far both their vendors and customers will come — but believe me I saw license plates from five states and all around Ohio in the parking lot (and to think that was a slow day!)

Voted “The Best Flea Market in Ohio” Rogers is the tri-state’s (Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia) largest open-air market featuring more than 1,600 vendors outdoors and in — selling everything, and I mean everything, from antiques, collectibles, new and vintage goods, crafts, leather, clothing, baked goods, plants, fair foods, farm fresh produce, pony rides, live auctions, entertainment and so much more every Friday all year long.

And yes, only on Fridays. Wow!

Open year-round since 1955, Rogers is celebrating its 60th anniversary in style. It’s a family operation and a big family at that — and everybody has their responsibilities but at some time all six kids who are the third generation running the place, have worked every position on the site, from cleanup crew to bathroom detail. Its literally a hands-on business like you’ve never seen.

Rogers also features live auctions Fridays during the open-air market, a hay and grain auction every Wednesday, and a huge and highly anticipated Monthly Consignment Auction the second Tuesday of every month.

There’s plenty of great concessions and “fair food” available including delicious homemade cooking located on our grounds. The growers and producers that sell there provide everything you can imagine with regular and seasonal favorites.

It was a sea of people when I was there and I felt like I was at OSU tailgating in the parking lot outside St. Johns arena before a Michigan game — the excitement and enthusiasm was that great.

In 1955, Emmet Baer purchased an eight-acre site on Old State Route 154. He built one barn and started the Rogers Community Auction selling produce, eggs, chickens, rabbits, and other miscellaneous items every Friday.

Today, with more than 50,000 visitors weekly during peak season, there is reason Rogers Community Auction is widely known as “the” sale. They have grown from a local sale of practical items to a bustling market and tourist destination. This is quite a journey from humble beginnings in a single barn in Rogers, Ohio, 60 years ago.

Here’s seeing you in Ohio country!

The writer is the owner of Wilson 1 Communications. He is an award-winning veteran broadcaster for over 30 years and the co-host and producer of “In Ohio Country Today,” a nationally recognized television show, and offers radio commentary and ag reports including locally for 92.1, the Frog WFGF Lima.