New to You: Five Antique Festivals Just a Road Trip Away
THE BEST THING about an antique is that it had an owner, maybe two or three, before you. Someone else held it, stored it, worked with it, dented it, molded it. When you purchase an antique you don’t just purchase the item; you purchase the stories that go with it. At any of these five festivals, you might find the one piece that’s missing from your collection.
Charleston Antiques Show
When: March 20-22
Where: Memminger Auditorium, 56 Beaufain St., Charleston, SC
How far: 209 miles, 3 hours and 15 minutes
Cost: $15 for three-day general admission, additional charge for tours and parties
What’s the story? On the posh end of antiques events, the three-day, 12th-annual show takes place in Charleston’s historic Harleston Village neighborhood, one of the city’s first suburbs. When Charleston was founded in 1670, it quickly became a busy seaport, importing international goods. Those early influences can still be seen in the city’s architecture and decorative arts. Thirty dealers from across the country will present their wares. Preview parties and tours make the show a full weekend experience.
Want to learn more? historiccharleston.org/antiquesshow, 843-722-3405
Catawba Valley Pottery & Antiques Festival
When: March 28
Where: Hickory Metro Convention Center, 1960 13th Avenue Dr. SE, Hickory
How far: 59 miles, 1 hour and 5 minutes
Cost: $6 for adults, $2 for children
What’s the story? Now in its 18th year, the festival started as an annual outlet for local potters to sell their wares. Today the festival includes potters throughout the state and Southeast. Dealers with historical pottery and antiques offer background on the utilitarian and artistic importance of pottery to the region. More than 115 vendors will participate.
Want to learn more? catawbavalleypotteryfestival.org, 828-322-3943
Liberty Antiques Festival
When: April 24-25 and September 25-26
Where: Pike Family Farm, 2855 Pike Farm Rd., Staley
How far: 110 miles, 1 hour and 45 minutes
Cost: $7 for adults, children younger than 12 are free
What’s the story? Twice a year, a large field in Randolph County becomes an antiquer’s playground. Four hundred dealers fill the 100-acre farm. Although the dealers have tents, the event is outside, and it goes on rain or shine. No crafts or reproductions here, but furniture, glassware, jewelry, pottery, military items, and tools are plentiful.
Want to learn more? libertyantiquesfestival.com, 800-626-2672
Cameron Antiques Fair
When: May 2 and October 3
Where: Carthage Street, Cameron
How far: 100 miles, 2 hours and 10 minutes
Cost: Free admission
What’s the story? Cameron was a transportation hub in the late 1800s for those in the turpentine and dewberry industries. The Fayetteville plank road arrived in the 1850s, and the railroad came in 1875. A community of railroad workers, merchants, and farmers grew along Carthage Street. Today, the buildings that housed their homes and businesses are antiques shops, and Cameron is on the National Register of Historic Places. Although the shops are open year-round, the fair brings together about 300 dealers in one spot, both inside the shops and along the street.
Want to learn more? antiquesofcameron.com, 910-245-3055
Labor Day Flea Market
When: September 4-7
Where: Town of Hillsville, Virginia
How far: 114 miles, 1 hour and 45 minutes
Cost: About $5 for parking
What’s the story? Every year on Labor Day weekend, the flea market consumes this town of about 2,700 people. The outdoor event draws about 500,000 people, who traverse the town streets and surrounding fields visiting tent after tent. The show is specifically known for its gun selection, but it also includes furniture, pottery, kitchenware, tools, books, baseball cards, records, coins, comics, Army surplus, and toys. You just have to hunt.
Want to learn more? hillsville.com/fmarket.htm