INDIAN RIVER COUNTY – Friends and antique hunters Melvina DeGaetano, Arlene Anderson and Dot Ritchey were shopped out after four hours of perusing numerous booths of special treasures.
They walked back to their vehicles, loaded down with bags of items they found at the 13th Annual Antique and Collectibles Extravaganza at the Indian River County Fairgrounds, which continues today.
The 3-day show runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and ends Sunday.
The friends said they’ve been coming to the event for the last several years, scouring the booths for items that pique their interests.
DeGaetano used to have her own antiques booth at the extravaganza, but decided in more recent years to close it down.
“It’s more fun shopping,” she said, adding that when she had a booth, she’d spend more than she made.
Ritchey took home a cuckoo clock, an oil lamp and a chimney for another oil lamp. Anderson, however, was drawn to the salt-glazed crocks and jugs.
The extravaganza is split into three areas – under the pavilion, inside the exhibition hall and out on the grounds.
Vendors include purveyors of everything from estate jewelry and early American stoneware to European grain sacks, novelty traffic signals, and Stereoview images.
“It’s been a good show for me,” Vero Beach antiques dealer Deborah Gooch said, adding that there were a lot of people to come through Saturday and the quality of the vendors has been top notch.
“The people really have been fun,” Gooch said.
Gooch used to operate Jim and Deborah Gooch Antiques on Royal Palm but never stopped collecting and selling antiques at occasional shows.
“It’s addictive,” she said.
Antique hunters Dave and Elizabeth Vincent said they were enjoying the show, especially after having found three steak plates – heavy, elongated plates for serving individual steaks.
“We’ve been looking for five months,” Dave said. “We just need three more.”
The Sebastian couple were drawn to the show in part for the hunt of the plates – the other “just to look around” and enjoy the beautiful weather, he said.
Not everyone was thrilled with extravaganza, though.
One vendor, who preferred not to be named, said her husband has participated in the show for a few years – but won’t be coming back.
“There are lots of people,” the woman said. “But no shoppers.”
She and her husband have been in the antiques business for 40 years with shops in West Palm and New York.
“We’ve never encountered anything like this in our life,” she said. “People are holding onto their money.”
Though the vendor seemed disappointed in Saturday’s sales, other vendors said they were doing fine enough.
Barb Solomon, a dealer with a shop in Mount Dora, Fla., said that she’s had a fair amount of customers due to the variety she offers.
“It’s not the best show I’ve done,” she said, but she would come back again next year. “Everybody’s been super nice.”
Vendor Dean Kamin, of Elgin, Ill., participated in the Indian River County show – one of four he plans to do in Florida and one of 55 he has planned for the year.
Kamin sells antique postcards, magazines, newspapers and Stereoview images – “the original 3-D,” he said.
“That’s what got us into the business,” Kamin said.
He said he typically deals with repeat customers – and this being his first show – there are no repeat customers.
“It hasn’t been a barn-burner,” the Midwestern antiques dealer said. “But it’s been going well.”
He plans to participate again next year.
“You can’t judge a show by one time,” Kamin said.
The 13th Annual Antiques and Collectibles Extravaganza runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Indian River County Fairgrounds, 7955 58th Ave., Vero Beach.
Admission is $6 and parking is free. Children 12 and younger can enter for free.