Urban Archeologist: Brimfield, Mass(ive) Antique Show

Can there be too much of a good thing?

…I’ve never been. For those of you that regularly read my column and follow my blog, I know that may seem hard to believe. For those of you that don’t know about the Brimfield Antique show, let me explain.

The Brimfield Antique show is possibly the largest flea market of its kind. Started in 1959 by a local auctioneer, it is now a collection of antique and collectable shows with over 5,000 dealers (yes, I said “5,000”). They come to sell their wares in this tiny Massachusetts town of 1,000, which swells to 30,000 during the week of the sale. You could say it’s “Brim-ing,” but I really don’t like to stoop to such a low pun.

So, it is big, but do you need to go? I ask that eternal question every time I drive by even the smallest sale. There are other flea markets closer and a search on the Internet will reveal a straight line “constellation” of four, from Stormville, NY to Patterson, NY to the Elephants Trunk in New Milford, and finally to the Woodbury Flea market. A trip to Brimfield will set you back a couple of hours one way and with the price of gas dropping only slightly, you may want to carpool and share a hotel room.

The question for me is, “How into this am I?” Every grain of sand is unique until you stumble over a beach of it. Immersion therapy like this might cure my desire to dig, not that I need a cure, but it could certainly rattle my perspective. I’m sure somewhere in Brimfield is a dealer with just what I’m looking for, but buying from a dealer is buying something that’s already been found — like reading the last page in a mystery first.

The Brimfield show is going on right now until May 13, but if you don’t read this in time, no worries, another will be held this summer July 10-15 and another after that in September. I can’t say I’ll be there, but if you go, or have been there other years, I sure would like to hear about it.

If you go, I recommend visiting the Brimfield show website. There are plenty of useful tips about parking, paying, food, accommodations, pets, kids, etc. 

Moral of this story: If you need something, you go to a store; if you want to find something …follow me. I found something recently that, although I know what it is, I don’t know what it was used for exactly. I hope a reader can tell me; I don’t want to have to go to Brimfield just to find out.

Greg Van Antwerp is a Brookfield resident and blogger, who can be found on the weekends in search of a good “dig” or a good story. You can read more about his adventures by visiting his blog.


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