Brimfield Antique Fair opens first time since pandemic began

Hampden County

BRIMFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Hundreds of antique dealers are back for a scaled-down version of the Brimfield Antique Fair this year. Over 300 antique dealers on 22 acres of land, to be exact.

“I want to see people recycle things and carry them on so our children will have an idea of what went on in the past,” 50 year antique dealer, Paul Young told 22News.

It’s a smaller Brimfield Antique Fair at just Brimfield Auction Acres for the May show, but other than the mandatory masks and eating in designated seated areas, it looked like a normal year.

On his 50th show here, Young is one of the longest-running antique dealers at Brimfield Antique Auctions and has an even longer history with the area.

“I knew the Reid’s, I went to auctions in the barn when I was a youngster. I don’t really do it for the money. I do it because I love old things and I want to see old things go on to the future,” Young said.

The antique show started out of the barn on the property and expanded in 1959 with then owner, Gordon Reid. Reid is largely credited with starting the Brimfield Antique Fair with his “Auction Acres” show.

Young’s love for antiques started while going to the dump with his dad as a child and both enjoyed taking old things back home. “I grew up in a fairly not well-to-do family and my dad used to go to the dump when I was real little, back in the early 50’s, and he used to bring home more stuff than he took to the dump,” Young told 22News.

He sells “anything I can get legally,” Young quipped. The fair is entertainment for many with shoppers weighing their options and prices with vendors.

“The first time you go up and you pay whatever they ask because you’re not used to that game. But they enjoy it [bargaining]. The vendors enjoy it just as much, I think, as the people who are coming through,” Antique shopper, James Gop told 22News.

Putting this show together any year can be difficult but this year it took collaboration with state and local officials, due to COVID-19, to pull off an event this big.

“Everybody worked with us. Our town health department, our health agent and with the state. We had a lot of concerns. We brought those concerns to the state and they came back and even opened it up more,” Brimfield Antique Acres owner, Rusty Corriveau told 22News.

The owners, Rusty and his wife Kate, thought that as the original antique show plot, it was fitting to be the place to bring it back this year after last year’s fair was canceled due to the pandemic.

“We have a little weight on our shoulders to try and make sure that it is done right. But we have a terrific staff and friends and family supporting us along the way and the community too to see it come back. So it’s a good feeling,” Owner Kate Corriveau told 22News.

But she said that seeing the shoppers and dealers enjoy the experience was worth the extra planned required. “What was most rewarding when we were parking of the cars, even the people shopping were saying thank you so much for bringing it back,” Corriveau explained.

The four-day show will be held at 35 Main Street in Brimfield from Wednesday, May 12 to Saturday, May 15 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. On opening day, many booths opened earlier around 6 a.m. to accommodate the early birds.

The show at Brimfield Antique Acres is the only one out of 22 shows put on by Brimfield Antique Shows to be held so far this year. According to the Brimfield Antique Flea Market website, the hours vary depending on which show field guests plan on visiting.

The following shows will not be opening in May due to regulations mandated by the state but are planning to open for July 13-18 and September 7-12:

  • Black Swan Meadows
  • Brimfield Acres North
  • Central Park Antiques
  • Collins Apple Barn
  • Crystal Brook
  • Dealer’s Choice
  • Grand Trunk
  • Green Acres
  • Heart-O-The-Mart
  • Hertan’s Antique Shows
  • Mahogany Ridge
  • May’s Antique Market
  • Midway
  • NE Motel Antique Market
  • Quaker Acres
  • Shelton Antique Shows
  • Stephen’s Place
  • Sturtevant’s

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