The week that this newspaper gets published the Brimfield Antique Show will be running until May 17th. The other 2015 dates are July 14 – 19 and September 8 – 13. It’s billed as the largest outdoor antique show in the country. Estimates range from 5,000 to 6,000 dealers selling to between 100,000 and 130,000 buyers. One website reported attendance one year of 500,000.
Antique collectors in this area seem to have a special connection to this event. Readers last year were kind enough to share their Brimfield stories and one sent us a photo when she met Diane Keaton that we published.
The show was started by local auctioneer Gordon Reid in 1959. His success encouraged others to open additional fields. More shows were added and it continued to grow. The fields now stretch for about a half mile down Route 20.
To find that special item it typically takes some planning. Many fields open on Tuesday but other openings are staggered. If you are searching for something that is in high demand like sports memorabilia, paintings by listed/trained artists or mid-20th century furnishings and accessories, you should try to be there the minute the field opens. Some fields open at 6:00 AM. It takes time to park and there can be waiting lines at the field so you may need to set your clock for 4:00 if you are serious about antique hunting.
If you decide to sleep in, you may not get that prime parking space next to the field that is opening that morning. There are lots of other parking options though and I have never had parking issues. With so many people going to an opening at the same time each morning, Route 20 can produce some of the worst gridlock I’ve encountered. After getting to some 9:00 AM field openings around 10:00 I found alternate routes and avoid Route 20. I mapped out a route prior to GPS devices being available but it should be even easier now to make a turn off of Route 20 and make your way to Brimfield.
Before you leave, pack like you would for other outdoor events. It’s New England and we know that the weather can change in an instant. Bring clothes for warm weather, cold weather and rain. You’ll be doing lots of walking so bring comfortable shoes. Your vehicle should be big enough to hold your purchases. Buyers often leave purchased items with the dealer and return for them later. Bring a notebook or text yourself the field location where you leave items. Lastly, you can bring food and water or stop at one of the food stands there. I hope that you make some great finds!
I am looking forward to meeting readers of the Connecticut “Villager” newspapers at an upcoming event. I’ll be doing appraisals for the public at FinnFunn 2015 at the Finnish American Heritage Society in Canterbury, CT from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM on May 16th. Appraisals are $5 each or 3 items for $10.
Contact us at: Wayne Tuiskula Auctioneer/Appraiser Central Mass Auctions for Antique Auctions, Estate Sales and Appraisal Services www.centralmassauctions.com (508-612- 6111), firstname.lastname@example.org