If you have treasure hunting in your blood, you need to go to the Brimfield Antique show. In fact, you should add it to your bucket list right now and immediately start planning your trip to the next show.
Three times each year in May, July, & September, Brimfield, a rural Massachusetts town of approximately 3,000 residents, hosts one of the largest antique marketplaces in the world. The Brimfield show is part carnival, part museum, and part flea market with over 5,000 dealers and 250,000 visitors from all over the world participating in about 20 different shows.
The trading at Brimfield begins at sunrise on Tuesday with a flurry of dealer activity and ends on Sunday afternoon. Each of the shows opens at a different time throughout the week, so there is constantly unseen merchandise being offered to treasure hunters. The staggered show openings create a frenzy of sorts among customers and dealers. Before each show opens, thousands of shoppers swarm the gates waiting to rush inside. Upon opening, a stampede of antique collectors and dealers rush into the fields and make a mad dash from booth to booth, each trying to beat their competitors out of the best deals. While standing in line this year we overheard a man tell a story about how he was trampled during a field stampede last year and had his leg broken in three places. (He obviously thought the bargains were worth the risk to life and limb, as he came back again this year for opening day).
Brimfield is not just an antique show, it is an experience. There are food trucks offering scrumptious treats like lobster roll sandwiches, BBQ ribs, & gyros and there are customers and dealers dressed in vintage and period clothing. This year we saw some ladies dressed as Rosie the Riveter and a man wearing a 10 gallon hat. Some of the most fun can be had just sitting back and watching the people carry their treasures — large architectural pieces, benches, paintings, crocks. People hoist their finds on their backs, lug them around in pull carts, and tie them onto bicycles. It is a great place to study people and how they interact with one another when money and merchandise are at stake.
If you love searching for unique antique and vintage treasures and appreciate a carnival-like atmosphere, you will love the Brimfield show. The next show will be held from July 8-13th. Hope to see you there!