Monday, April 26, 2010

Texas - The Shows

The shows - holy smokes, where to start? As mentioned, you can see a partial list on the Round Top Chamber of Commerce website, but in reality, it seems like everyone with a field, a barn or even just a large front lawn had tents and tables set up. We got in late Monday night and left very early Friday morning, but in our three full days, we managed to hit seven shows.

We started Tuesday morning at Marburger Farm (it's a lovely 43-acre setting with a mix of fairground-like pavilions and shelters and a number of historic buildings from around the area that have been relocated). You can see a map here of the grounds and there are photos of some of the neat buildings on their event site here. There were more than 350 dealers there, and while we can't say how many people attended, we can tell you that this large, historically well-attended show still actually ran out of printed tickets after about a day and a half because so many people showed up! Bottom line: people were allowed in about an hour before selling started and there was a line and there was running. Can't tell you the last time we saw that!

Wednesday, we went over to the Big Red Barn, which is also known as the "original Round Top Antiques show". Again, barns and tents full of stuff, and again with the crowds! Our first walk through the show, we were just shuffling along in the center of an aisle jammed with people. You could barely make it to the entrance to a booth, let alone get in and have a look around. Fortunately, we also managed to connect with dealers Kim and Mary Kokles, Texans themselves, and they helped make some suggestions about shows and meals we'd want to make time for. After a Royers lunch in the tents outside, we made the rounds to shows at the Carmine (Carmine is at a separate location some distance away, but the admission to Big Red Barn get you in there as well) and La Bahia dance halls, and circled back to get another look at Marburger Farm.

After that, we drove by the marketplace at Warrenton, but weren't honestly brave enough to stop! It was a madhouse, tents set up in fields on either side of the road as far as the eye could see in just about any direction. After seeing it and fresh from visiting all the other shows, we found ourselves speculating about what percentage of the North American antiques market would be destroyed by an atomic bomb going off at the stoplight in downtown Round Top. So. Much. Stuff.

Thursday, we made stops at the Round Top Rifle Hall, Shelby and Cole's shows. The Cole's show is another large show - 200+ dealers in a 63,000-square-foot facility. And then back to Marburger Farm for the afternoon.

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