Did you know that New England (specifically Brimfield, Massachusetts) is home to the largest outdoor antiques and collectibles show in the world? Known simply as “Brimfield,” the show takes place 3 times each year, in May, July, and September, and let me tell you — IT HAS EVERYTHING.
Spanning multiple “fields” (each with its own rules, personality, and a loose theme), Brimfield is the kind of place where you can show up early, spend the whole day, and still never see it all.
This makes Brimfield a true picker’s paradise and a treasure hunter’s dream, but before you get too excited, let me also say that it’s almost never a bargain. You will find the things you always have your eyes peeled for when antique hunting (for me it’s Pyrex, Vera Neumann textiles, wicker patio sets, Ovenex starburst-patterned pans, retro cutlery, New England ephemera, old cookbooks, cross-stitch samplers, McCoy planters, Noritake china plates, bird prints, aprons, colorful Bundts, paint-by-numbers, oversized vintage clip-on earrings and tooth hair combs…you get the picture) — but you will also pay (sometimes dearly) for someone else finding them for you.
Yankee ran a big feature story on An Insider’s Guide to Brimfield in the May/June 2015 issue, so a team of editors (plus a few extra fun guests) were on hand for opening day back in May to explore the fields and share our favorite finds using the hashtag #BrimfieldFinds. We had a great time, and some of us (I’m looking at you, Senior Editor Amy Traverso!) made out like bandits.
It’s all part of the fun… You might go home with nothing, you might go home with the equivalent of 3 lunches in your stomach (guilty, if ice cream counts as one, which it should), or you might go home with a bunch of treasures and a new kitchen table.
Let’s take a little jaunt through my experience of the day, shall we?
Here are some of the treasures I wished I could have brought home.
Finally, I reached my annual Brimfield Holy Grail — a bamboo Golden Girls-style sofa set. Usually, it’s wicker that wins my heart, but the bamboo works, too.
And should you make your way to Brimfield this year, be sure to stop and say hello to Ryan and Kaitlin, founders of the Brimfield Flea Finder app. Seasoned veterans of the Brimfield experience, their handy, free app uses GPS technology to guide visitors to specific booths, mark spots on a personal map, and locate the closest food, bathroom, and ATM (you will certainly appreciate this). At a “show” as big as Brimfield, this can prove to be a true lifesaver, so consider downloading before you go!
And finally, in case you want to see more Brimfield, here’s a Yankee blog I did covering Opening Day at Brimfield after my first visit in 2012.
Have you ever been to Brimfield? What would be at the top of your treasure list?
Brimfield Antiques Show. Remaining dates for 2015: July 14-19, and September 8-13. brimfieldshow.com