The Brimfield Antique and Collectibles Show is the (self-proclaimed) largest, outdoor, antiques show in the world. It is held in Brimfield, MA, three times per year usually around Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. It attracts more than 130,000 people per show who come and buy almost anything you can dream of as sold by 6,000 dealers. The show began in the 1950’s and has garnered a cult-like following among decorators, collectors, celebrities and more!
It sure was...
We embarked upon our first Brimfield trip last week and it was everything and more that we expected. The show takes up about one mile of highway on a small two-laned road outside of the main town of Brimfield. There are over 20 different fields that go back 500 yards or so from the main road that house tent upon tent upon tent of any type of antique, collectible or item you can imagine. Think refined garage sale.
Left: We all fell for this gilded owl nestled among the bar set. Center: Hey little peekaboo mouse! Right: We geeked out over this vintage chemistry set. Shouldn't every kid (adult?!) have one of these?
The show runs from sunup to sundown and by all accounts is like a huge town carnival. If you are truly a bargain hunter and like to strike a deal, this could be the place to score some amazing furniture and more!
Bottles abounded! We even spied someone from a major retailer buying up a stash to be used in their in-store displays!
Vintage trays outside the Brimfield Antiques Center.
Some tips from our first go around:
- Bring your own bags to haul your loot (or pick up some at a Cracker Barrel on the way like we did)
- Check the weather. If it speaks of rain (or if it has just rained), wear your wellies and have rain gear. You are, after all, in one giant field.
- Cash is king and ATMs do not exist on site (there was a brief phantom ATM that kept disappearing).
- Get a large vehicle; bring it empty. Or rent a van if you know you want to make some big purchases. Furniture cloth, bungee cords, and packing materials will all prove very helpful.
- Food is available onsite in a little food court area but bring snacks if you don’t want carnival/fair food all day.
- Get there early and be prepared to sit in traffic. Eight-mile traffic jams aren’t uncommon.
- Park your car in one of the paid parking fields. It's worth it to park closer but after that eight-mile traffic jam, feel free to just take the first one you can find.
- Agree to pick up your larger items later in the day and get a map of where the vendor is located (the fields all begin to look the same after a while).
- Ask before you take pictures of items. Some people think they have true treasure and really don’t like anyone else to know about it (so counterintuitive, we know).
- Wait a bit longer in the day to buy items and you can sometimes score deals.
- As always, have your room measurements with you. There are no refunds.
- Relax, have fun and don’t expect anything. That’s when you can find the best stuff!
Left: Even the tabletop vignettes could be yours - for a price! Center: We fell hard for these wire-framed pendant lamps from Tula Antiques. Right: Did we mention we love a good cloche?
And then there were the more...unusual finds like this fish-holding gnome and Game of Thrones-worthy horn and hide armchair and ottoman. We wonder if they found the perfect home...
We really did have a blast thanks to our good friends who had a fantastic tent and tweetup (more about that on Friday). And yes, we both came home with several large items and many other small ones. Check out our gallery for more pics of what we saw and the treasures we scored!