Antiques Show began in the 1950's and has become the largest and best-known
outdoor antiques show in the country. Running along Rt. 20 for a distance of
perhaps a half-mile and perhaps 500' or more, back on each side of the
highway, the Brimfield Show is a huge, vast undertaking, filled with
thousands of dealers dealers over the course of the week, selling everything
from the finest antiques to 'yard junk', requiring a day or two to see
everything there is to see. Food courts and rest facilities abound, and the
Shows are filled with hidden treasures and the 'right kind of people',
creating a safe and fun environment for everyone, children included. Shows
are patrolled by uniformed and undercover police, and rarely is there any
trouble of any kind.
Brimfield is a quaint, picturesque
rural New England town, home to 3,000 residents. Founded in 1731, (the
year before George Washington was born), the town's 35 square miles are
surrounded by apple orchards, horse farms, and wooded hills in an area known
as the Pioneer Valley, and Foothills of the Berkshires.
During show-times, the town's population balloons to over
250,000 visitors and over 5,000 dealers for the 6 days the Show operates.
The Show has a carnival-like atmosphere, appropriate for all ages, where
good vibes prevail, (and few, if any problems ever present themselves).
Dealers come from all over
the world as do visitors. From millionaire world-famous rock stars and movie
stars to the local resident from down the street, the Show is a Mecca for
serious and casual collectors of all kinds of antiques. A few of the
Fields require an entrance fee on the initial opening, usually $5.00-10.00,
which tends to be waived later in the day. Most fields do not have any
entrance fee, and generally, you can move freely from field to field.
There is almost always plenty
of parking available, at $6.00 - 8.00 in the middle of town, a bargain in
itself. Also, in the middle of the show, the New England Motel hosts
the largest and most popular food court with a wide variety of food
booths to satisfy every taste. Additionally, food carts and booths appear
throughout various locations and the wide variety of available foods has
become a draw in it's own right.
Each of the fields is
required to provide sanitary facilities, and these are clean, ventilated
affairs that are checked often for sanitary condition.
By far the largest
inconvenience to the whole show is the traffic getting into and out of town,
which can range from none to over 8 miles of backup. Traffic is
unpredictable, and often determined by the weather. Occasionally, peak show
times see bumper-to-bumper traffic on the main access road for a few miles -
(Rt.20 E&W), but the stream of traffic along the show route is nearly almost
always a short inconvenience compared to the surprises and joys of
exploration that lie ahead.
While many are curious about
the staggered show openings, thinking it carefully planned, there is no
overall Town "management" committee for the Show --each promoter sets his or
her own exhibition schedule. As the late Bob Brown, publisher of the Brimfield Antique Guide liked to say,
"It all works entirely by accident". And work it has, for 50+ years!
Brimfield is renown the world over as the Outdoor Antiques Capital of the
World. If you're doubtful of that fact... the visitor statistics on
this web-site tell the story - with an average 30,000 page requests each
month, hits in the millions during show-months at all hours of the day, and
visitors from over 26 countries...the Brimfield Shows are the undisputed
King of Outdoor Antique Shows!
For quicker access into the
show, take Exit 8 on the MA Pike, (Rt. 90) through Palmer onto Rt 20
East to Brimfield. Directions are posted at the toll booths.