Monday, May 17, 2010

brimfield — a new england tradition

For many Yan­kees, men­tion the word "Brim­field", and they know exactly what you mean. For those who might not know, three times a year the tiny town of Brim­field Mass­a­chu­setts attracts thou­sands of antique ven­dors and tens of thou­sands of shop­pers. All those peo­ple, sell­ers and buy­ers, are com­ing together in a mar­ket­place atmos­phere that runs along both dusty sides of high­way 20.  Twenty-one fields become a tent world of sell­ers’ stalls — with every antique and col­lectible imag­in­able. Some buy­ers wear shirts or hats explain­ing what they are look­ing for — "in search of vin­tage saxophones".

The fields are arranged in no dis­cern­able pat­tern — if you are look­ing for fur­ni­ture, for instance, you can’t just look in one field — you have to look in all of them.  If you are just a browser not look­ing for any­thing in par­tic­u­lar, you could spend days here sim­ply perus­ing the nearly 6000 stalls. The show has grown over the past 50 years, and doesn’t appear to be slow­ing down.

Fri­day is the tra­di­tional open­ing day for the J&J Pro­mo­tions field, where I always start my show visit. I enjoy the more orga­nized feel­ing (real or imag­ined?) here, and the higher qual­ity on offer. The crowd was heav­ier today than I have seen in recent years, despite the threat of rain. By early after­noon, the sun and warmth had the shop­pers out in droves. The energy was pal­pa­ble, the smell of suc­cess in the air.  So many peo­ple had scored their trea­sures, there were smiles everywhere!

Some inter­est­ing finds, just wait­ing for the right shopper…

From the amus­ing to the truly bizarre, you will find it at Brimfield!

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