What is First Monday?

  • First Monday Trade Day in Scottsboro may sound like just a day but it's an entire weekend of trading. First Monday is held each month beginning on the Saturday before the first Monday of the month in Downtown Scottsboro at the Square. It's a trade day for local craftsman, food vendors, and anyone who wants to come sell or trade their items.
  • You can find antiques, farm equipment, food, knives, handmade crafts, clothes, baskets, antiques, plants, furniture, and just about anything else. You never know what you might find at First Monday in Scottsboro!
  • Interested in joining in on First Monday? Scroll down to find info on how you can become a vendor, or to find the dates for this years First Mondays.

Becoming a Vendor

Being a Vendor is as easy as showing up, spaces are available month by month on a first come first serve basis and there will be no charge for any space.

  • Vendors may use up to 3 regular size parking spots on the inside of the square.
  • Setup may occur after 6 P.M. on the Friday prior to the Weekend Event. Please do not setup earlier than 6 P.M.
  • Please respect your fellow vendors and visitors to the event. Vendors may not block the inside sidewalks or traffic flow, use the parking spaces for your setup.
  • During the mid-year period of 2017, and until finished, the downtown square area is undergoing renovation, vendor spots will be limited during this time frame.
  • Onsite contact Gary Morgan for assistance at (256) 218-0124

First Monday 2017 Schedule

December 31st, Jan 1st and 2nd

Feb 4th, 5th, and 6th

March 4th, 5th and 6th

April 1st, 2nd, and 3rd

April 29th, 30th, and May 1st

June 3rd, 4th and 5th

July 1st, 2nd and 3rd

August 5th, 6th, and 7th

Sept 2nd, 3rd, and 4th

Sept 31st, October 1st, and 2nd

Nov 4th, 5th, and 6th

Dec 2nd, 3rd, and 4th

More Information

  • You can download a map of the vendor spaces here : Scottsboro First Monday vendor spaces map.
  • Food Vendors must have Jackson County Health Department permit to participate. To get a permit contact the Jackson County Health Department at 256-259-5882
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First Monday History

First Monday Trade Day in Scottsboro began as Horse Swapper's Day on December 1, 1902. The event was the idea of James Armstrong, editor of "The Scottsboro Citizen."

Armstrong made his first appeal to his readers on March 8, 1900 saying, "Why not have a day SET APART each month in Scottsboro as horse swapper's day? This would bring a big crowd to town and would be known as horse trader's day."

James Armstrong waited almost three years before his idea materialized. Finally on November 13, 1902 he again appealed to his readers suggesting, "Each first Monday could be made a lively day for buying, swapping and selling horses and mules. The Citizen suggests that Monday, December 1st be named the First Horse Swapper's Day."

Th rest, as they say, is history. While the FIRST horse swapper's day was not a howling success, Armstrong did not give up. Six months later, The Citizen reported: "A good crowd was in town Monday. County and Commissioners' Court met that day." No mention was made of trade day.

Nine months from "the first day set aside," James Armstrong was still reminding his readers of horse swapper's day. On September 3, 1903, he printed:

"Next Monday, being the first Monday, will be horse swapper's day in Scottsboro. Bring in another horse."

Mr. Armstrong was obviously pleased with the crowd in 1903. On September 10, 1903, his most extensive coverage to date appeared with the bold heading:

Horse Swappers Day

"Last Monday - the first Monday - was horse swapper's day at this place, and a large crowd was in town. A number of trades were made during the day, and everybody seemed satisfied he got the best bargain."

Editor Armstrong had to give his readers constant reminders about first Monday Horse Swapper's Day but his perseverance paid off. He patiently educated his readers and together they established an unofficial holiday in Jackson County.

As the needs of the people changed, so did First Monday Trade Day. More and more farmers acquired automobiles and tractors, and horse swapping declined. First Monday crowds waned in direct relation. Once again a newspaper editor sensed the economic climate and provided cohesive leadership.

After James Armstrong died in 1911, the stock of The Scottsboro Citizen was sold to The Progressive Age. In 1919, James S. Benson purchased The Progressive Age. On March 5, 1925 Mr. Benson outlined a plan to expand the marketing services of the declining Horse Swapper's Day. He proposed first Monday trading to be called Market Day. He stated farmers could advertise free of charge in The Progressive Age. Mr. Benson obtained the support of the Civitan Club to foster this new idea. He wrote, "On the first Monday in April, what is known as Market Day will be started in Scottsboro, and doubtless much good will result from the business and good fellowship campaign arranged for that day. It is planned that in addition to the horse swappers convention that always takes place on First Monday, the farmers of the county will be invited to come on this day and trade and sell their products. It is planned that any farmer in the county who has anything to sell, trade or wants to buy anything on this day can advertise FREE in The Progressive Age. A section of the paper has been contracted for by the business men under the auspices of the Civitan Club of the Town and all the farmer has to do is write out his advertisement and send it to The Progressive Age and the week before the First Monday this section will be published. If you have anything you want to sell or exchange, advertise it in these columns and have it here on that day, and it is very likely you can get a trade. Get ready for it."

The variety of wares traded increased with the crowds each year. Now a trade day of mammoth proportions takes place around the courthouse square. First Monday in Scottsboro is one of Jackson County's most consistent claims to fame.

Again, times have changed and Scottsboro is no longer the agricultural community it once was. Once again, First Monday has to adapt itself to the changing times. Many of First Monday's vendors have full time jobs and therefore are unable to set up on Monday. Therefore, the best crowds are usually found on Sundays. On those weekends where Monday is a holiday, you will find crowds on both Sunday and Monday.

Labor Day Weekend is truly the biggest and best First Monday Weekend. The vendors set up and sell Saturday, Sunday and Monday and it is not unusual to see crowds in excess of 40,000.

First Monday Trade Days are an integral part of our heritage and tradition: a part we are very proud to celebrate and share. Ask the vendors to share their stories of yesteryear.

We invite you to come to Jackson County and experience First Monday Trade Days. Explore the multitude of treasures that our vendors have to offer. Spend a day ambling around the courthouse square. Enjoy the sights and sounds as well as the aromas emanating from the variety of food vendors.

Special thanks to Ann Chambless, editor of The Chronicles, a publication of the Jackson County Historical Association for her tireless effort in researching the facts surrounding First Monday Trade Days.

City of Scottsboro

Our beautiful corner of Northeast Alabama is where family, business & recreation co-exist for a life experience you will treasure forever. It is not just our location but the heart of the community that will reach out & pull you into our area & keep you happy & successful for a lifetime.

 

Contact Info

 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 256-574-3100
 256-574-4966
316 S Broad Street, Scottsboro, AL 35768
Monday-Friday 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM

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