Well, it's not really a new show. The Charlotte Antiques and Collectibles Show, which has been held at Metrolina for decades, has moved to Concord. So now it's dubbed The "Greater" Charlotte Antiques And Collectibles Show. I am not keen on the new superlative. Moving the show to Concord did not make it "greater" for me. It's a freaking hike to get from South Charlotte to the Cabarrus Arena and there is no direct route to get there. And, after attending the "Grand Opening" yesterday, I can't say the show itself is "greater". Okay, there is paved parking and the buildings are pretty and new if that's what you're looking for. But the parking lot was near empty at 11am Saturday when I arrived and that can't be a good sign.
No lines to get in and only about a half dozen outside vendors. That was the worse part for me. At Metrolina I always shop the outside vendors first and, honestly, that's where the bargains are.
So, moving on, there are 2 buildings. The smaller one on the right is where they stuck the new stuff. There were about 2 dozen vendors in there selling anything from fudge to reproductions to carpets. It was not a good first impression (or second impression as I was already disappointed over the lack of outdoor sellers). I did see one booth that I recognized from Metrolina and I am totally perplexed as to how she got allocated to this little annex building.
Sandra of "Salvage Art" is one of the most creative people I know. Her booth is always filled with her own creations like the desk lamps and wall hangings she makes from vintage ads or the purses from vintage patterns. When I asked her why she was in this building she said she was told that the big building was only for real vintage and antiques-high end stuff. She said I would know what she meant when I went in. As I said goodbye to Sandra, in my head I was crossing off a mental list of my favorite vendors that I guess I won't be buying from here.
There's the guy that sells cheese and butter, the guy that sells display items for jewelry, Linda who sells the best vintage clothing and sets up under the Mall at Metrolina and of course Harry who always has the best bargains outside.
Okay, on to the main building I go expecting to see only high end, authentic antiques. First impressions: "Wow, this place is huge!"
Lots of vendors. I'd say there were probably twice as many booths as you'd see in the main building at Metrolina in a building three times the size. So it's pretty roomy with wide aisles and lots of seating for bored husbands (not that I ever bring my husband-I know better).
So I stared down the first aisle. So far so good and I find another one of my favorite vendors right across from one of the two concession stands. More on the food later.
Unfortunately I do not remember this lady's name and she was very busy with customers so I wasn't able to ask. I do remember that she is from Pittsburgh and she always has beautiful vintage linens and purses. If you go, be sure to check her out.
This is where I stopped at the concession stand. If I do ever visit this show again I will be sure to eat first and bring a drink. It was early and the only breakfast item they offer is a sausage biscuit for $3.00. It was one of those awful frozen ones you buy at the grocery store. And the sweet tea was $2.75 for a medium! Other than that they have a very small selection of items. Hot dogs, hamburgers, french fries, nachos, popcorn etc. All at premium prices and all pre-made and wrapped up and sitting on the warming shelf. And don't bother looking for the other food vendors that you are used to seeing at Metrolina. Absent are the barbecue stand, the Java Hut, the candied pecans, kettle corn, funnel cakes and the beer. I'm just saying.
So I continue shopping, or browsing really as I really didn't buy much. There are a lot of antique jewelry and furniture dealers with real period pieces but scattered throughout there seems to be several vendor selling strictly reproduction pieces. And the guy that makes 'art' by framing old ceiling tiles was there as well as the guy selling new jewelry displays, a booth with Obama and McCain buttons and a guy selling vases made of coral. All cool stuff but not antiques. So there goes the theory that there are only high end, authentic antiques in the big building. Are you confused yet? I was.
I did discover two very unique booths that I hadn't seen before. The first booth belonged to Nanette Johnson of Floyd Virginia.
Nanette & Mike own Floyd Antiques 116 N. Locust St. Floyd, VA. They specialize in antique tools, dollhouse miniatures, primitives and, my favorite, vintage clothing. Nanette and I chatted for a while and she talked me into making the 2 hour drive up to visit the Floyd Antique Show & Appraisal Fair on March 8th, 2009. If her booth is any indication of what to expect then I know I am in for a fun day.
The other dealer that I am happy to have met is Roberto Frontera-Suau from Elizabeth City, NC. A biology professor by trade, this charming Spaniard shares with me a love of vintage clothing. His booth was breathtaking and the clothing he displayed was divine. He says he specializes in 20's and earlier and he had some beautiful examples like a lovely mid 19th century wrapper. But he also carries later, more wearable vintage like 40's suits and dresses, dresses from the 50's and 60's and this stunning 30's gown that he had on display.
So, all in all, I am glad I went to check out the new location but I will still be a regular at Metrolina. That's right! I forgot to mention the best part. As much as DMG would like us to think that their show is the only one in town, the show at Metrolina will go on! Many dealers there refused to move to the new location and many others chose to do both shows. Besides, the new show is only going to be held 5 times a year:
- January 30-February 1, 2009
- April 2-5, 2009 "Spectacular"
- June 5-7 2009
- August 28-30, 2009
- November 5-8, 2009 "Spectacular"
- February 5-8, 2009
- March 5-8, 2009
- April 1-5, 2009 – spring ‘Classic’ show
- April 30-May 3, 2009
- June 4-7, 2009
- July 2-5, 2009
- July 30-August 2, 2009
- September 3-6, 2009
- October 1-4, 2009
- November 4-8, 2009 – fall ‘Classic’ show
- December 3-6, 2009