It's that time of year again, when the Brimfield Antiques Fair comes (close) to town! The annual fair, which takes places a number of times over the spring and summer, just down the road a piece in Brimfield, MA, opens for the first time this season starting on Tuesday, May 14th! The following article from Mass Live gives more information about the fair.
In the meanwhile, if you are looking for something fun and local to do this weekend - the 23rd Annual Plant and Garden Market, hosted by NEF and held at Smith Vocational High School in Northampton, will be held tomorrow, May 11th, from 9-12. It's a great place to pick up some Mother's Day gifts! The proceeds from the sale benefit Northampton public schools. What a great cause!
Lori Faxon of Dealer’s Choice Antique Shows met her husband, Tom, at the Brimfield Antique and Collectibles Show some 35 years ago.
“I was 19 years old and really wasn’t into antiques at the time, but got into them because of Tom, who she began to help at his field named Midway Antique Shows,” said Faxon.
Love blossomed, along with marriage, and today the couple owns not only Midway Antiques, but Dealer’s Choice Antique Shows. The six-day show begins its run on Tuesday, May 14.
The “show” is actually made up of about 21 fields, stretching along Route 20 for about a mile, owned by promoters or operators such as Faxon and her husband, who lease spaces to dealers.
“We purchased the large property from the daughters of Gordon Reed, founder of the Brimfield Antiques and Collectibles Show,” Faxon said.
Reed, an auctioneer, began holding auctions outdoors on his large field, eventually growing into a popular flea market and leading the way for other field owners to do the same in the late ’70s.
According to the website brimfieldantiquefleamarket.com, “the May show is the first show of the Brimfield 2019 season, and is easiy the busiest show of the year. This is the time that you will find the freshest offers and merchandise from dealers in every field and shop.”
“Our Dealer’s Choice property is actually on the outskirts of all the fields, and people just don’t want to come out that far. Everyone is always busy on opening day, so our Dealer’s Choice field is open on just the first of the six days,” Faxon said.
“We have 400 dealers on our property, for us a mix of mid-century to modern vintage clothing, jewelry and furniture,” she added.
Most of the individual fields that make up the large antiques and collectible show sell a variety of items in addition to clothing, jewelry and furniture treasure hunters will find
fine art, glassware, toys, silver, antique farm implements and tools and much more with prices ranging from one dollar to thousands of dollars.
Although many field owners offer an array of food options to choose from, Faxon said the atmosphere is more business-like than that of a fair.
“Dealers come to buy as well as to sell. It’s serious business and for many it’s how they make a living. People come from far and wide from Japan, Germany, England and beyond. While you see a lot of buyers adding to their stock in the first part of the week, as the weekend approaches the focus is more on retail,” Faxon said.
Faxon offered some advice for attending the spring show.
“Expect the fields to be muddy and wear appropriate shoes. And, don’t expect to do the entire show in one day because it is so big. Hit one or two fields in the morning, then enjoy some lunch and then another couple in the afternoon,” she said.
Additional tips found on various Brimfield Flea Markets associated websites include:
- Bring your umbrella and shop in the rain when attendance isn’t as heavy.
- Cool hard cash speaks better to some dealers than a check.
- Take a small memo pad with you so that you can write down the item that caught your eye, but weren’t ready to purchase, along with the name, booth number and field for that dealer. With so many fields, it’s easy to forget where you saw something you liked.
- Begin your treasure hunting early to avoid the crowds and don’t wait until noon to eat lunch when everyone else is getting hungry at the same time.
- Don’t see something that you might be looking for? Don’t be afraid to ask.
- Check the temperature and weather for Brimfield before leaving home, and dress appropriately. Bring a water bottle with you to keep hydrated is the scorching summersun.
For those who can’t attend the May show, the next Brimfield Antique and Collectibles Show is set for July 9-14.