Great article on the Brimfield Outdoor Antiques Show next week. Go for the Brimfield Paper & Postcard Marathon beginning May 9th and stay for the Antiques blitz!
By Lori Stabile | Special to The Republican
It’s almost time for the May installment of the Brimfield Outdoor Antiques Shows, a thrice annual event that draws antique lovers from near and far to the tiny town of Brimfield, Mass. for six days at a time.
The May show – known as the largest antique show of the three – opens Tuesday, May 13 and runs through Sunday, May 18.
What is usually farmland transforms into a giant outdoor antique sale, featuring thousands of dealers on 23 fields selling almost everything imaginable – giant Ronald McDonald heads, garden items, 1950s dishes, postcards from various eras, music equipment, furniture, vintage jewelry and clothing and more.
It was 1959 when Gordon Reid got the idea to hold an outdoor antique show.
His daughters, Judith R. Mathieu and Jill R. Lukesh, continue the tradition their father started, on the J&J Promotions field, which is open only on Friday and Saturday and hosts 400 dealers.
Opening times vary according to field, with most opening Tuesday. Check www.brimfieldshow.com for specific field opening times.
The first “show” featured 67 dealers selling items on tarps in front of their station wagons, Mathieu said, describing the event as “rustic.”
Asked what Reid would think about Brimfield has become, Mathieu replied, “Oh my gosh, he would be thrilled. He would be quite honored, I’m sure.”
She said that she and her sister have maintained the quality that her father wanted on his field, ensuring dealers are selling antiques and not new items.
Because the family has been involved in the shows so long, Mathieu has plenty of advice for first-timers to the shows (the next show is in July, followed by the last one in September).
Dress comfortably, she suggests, and bring cash, as many dealers do not accept credit cards.
And bargain. Dealers expect it, Mathieu said, “but be fair in your offer.”
Even though Brimfield has been around now for many years, Mathieu said they still hear people tell them that this is their first time.
“People are just thrilled to be here,” Mathieu said.
Celebrity sightings are not unusual at Brimfield – home decor maven Martha Stewart, hockey great Terry O’Reilly, singer-actress Barbra Streisand and director-actress Penny Marshall all have been spotted in recent years.
Donald G. Moriarty, co-owner of Heart O’ the Mart with his wife Pamela, predicts that the May show will be “great.” They have been involved in the antiques show for the past 32 years, and he said he’s been seeing more international buyers at the shows.
“Each year seems to get a little bit bigger,” Moriarty said.
His field opens Wednesday at 9 a.m. with approximately 450 dealers. Like Mathieu, he advises people to dress “for comfort, not style” and in layers.
“Bring your wallet . . . Allocate as much time as you possibly can because it’s a huge, huge show,” Moriarty said.
Some fields charge admission. The next shows are July 8 to 13, and September 2 to 7.
Here is where to find maps and brochures for the Brimfield Show
Re-posted from Mass Live