Five Things You Should Know About Texas Antiques Week
Gadabout Gal Tiff here! Have you ever heard of Texas Antiques Week? It's the bi-annual, Texas-sized pilgrimage for lovers of design/antiques/vintage & junque!
It holds a special place in my heart.
Let me offer five things you should know about Texas Antiques Week.
But first, A little background... My Texas Antiques Week Journey
I know a lil' something about this bucket list worthy event! I've been apart of the "show" for fourteen seasons, that is seven years! In the fall of 2011 Kristie Herlong and I traveled from Ohio with loads of "junque", and absolutely no idea what we were getting into. We set up a small booth in the field previously called The Antique Depot (now the Stone Cellar). After that first show, I set up a booth in two different fields along Hwy 237 before landing in my dream store, Flown The Coop in Burton, Texas.
Gadabout Kelly has been with me from the very beginning of this journey. She flew in from Ohio to help us with our booth at The Antique Depot, and had fun shopping the fields.
Texas Antiques Week is my favorite holiday! It has become a family reunion of dear friends from across the United States. In my opinion, the magic of this massive event has always been the wonderful people I met and became life-long friends with. Here's a glimpse....
So enough about me... Here's my 5 things YOU should know about Texas Antiques Week!
1. Texas Antiques Week is not a week
It is doubtful that Emma Lee Turney could envision in the fall of 1968 what her two-day country antique show would become. I love that Emma had recognized it was more than a shopping event, but a social one!
“. . . the Round Top Show is uniquely itself. It’s always great for shopping, terrific people watching, a good excuse to go off your diet a little and a chance to walk in the boots you were born to.” – Emma Lee Turney,Denim and Diamonds: The Story of Emma Lee Turney’s Round Top Antiques Fair (1998)
Emma's two day event has turned into THE Texas Antiques Week. The "WEEK" is misleading. The only thing consistent about the show now is that it happens twice a year.
(WELL... I take that back. There is a January show now).
The spring show happens at the end of March/beginning of April. The fall show happens at the end of September/beginning of October. The dates are subject to the individual fields opening & closing dates. There are a lot of chiefs in these fields... no one owns the show. Clear as mud???? My advice is to check several websites for dates, starting with the Round Top chamber.
2. Texas Antiques Week spans MILES of backroads
Located half way between Houston and Austin, the Texan countryside becomes fields of dreams during Texas Antiques Week. The show occupies miles of individual fields and small towns surrounding Washington and Fayette Counties.
If you are traveling from Houston on Hwy 290, you'll pass Chapel Hill and Brenham first. Brenham is a fast growing community with excellent shopping and fantastic murals. Before you hit Hwy 237 (the main drag for the show) you will pass Burton, a sleepy little town that is hidden away. This town is home to Flown The Coop! Continue on Hwy 290 to visit the little town of Carmine (on Hwy 290). You will find several antique stores there. The main drag is on Hwy 237. As soon as you turn off Hwy 290 onto Hwy 237, you will find your first field, La Bahia. From there you will pass several fields before you arrive at Round Top. This little town has great shopping, eating and nightlife. Don't stop there, after Round Top on Hwy 237 you'll pass the Junk Gypsies Headquarters, The Compound and my favorite fields near Warrenton. My final booth in the fields was located in Bar W. Past Warrenton are more fields before you finally arrive in LeGrange.
Shew!!!! I know... clear as mud. There really are miles to cover. The best strategy is to know what you are looking for. For instance: if you love to dig and find the things that you didn't know you needed, you'll love the fields in Warrenton. If you are more refined and love to be awed by creative displays, you'll want to spend time at Marburger and The Compound. There is everything from junk to fancy .... with a little research you can plan your attack.
3. Book your lodging in advance
An estimate of 10,000 people converge on the scene during Texas Antiques Week. Let that sink in. My best advice is book your lodging months in advance.
There is an abundance of Bed & Breakfasts, Hotels and Aribnb to choose from. If you are a last minute planner like me, there is still hope. Most of the Bed & Breakfast owners are members of the Round Top Chamber of Commerce. The Round Top Chamber will send an email to their members on your behalf. The Washington County Chamber of Commerce can help you with hotels and B&Bs in Brenham area.
4. If it buys you, buy it
I regularly witnessed disappointed shoppers returning to buy the "find that bought them" earlier in the day, only to find it is sold. If it buys you.. buy it or you'll spend the rest of your trip and perhaps your life looking for the one that got away.
This leads me to buying etiquette in the field....
The booth owners are hard working people, who are following their passions and hope to make a living doing it. Here's my advice in bargaining. Don't insult them. They expect you to haggle. Just don't point out all the defects you see in order to lower the price. Or my favorite, don't cop an attitude about how high you feel the price is. Most dealers will work with respectful shoppers.
5. Have an exit plan
If you don't find what you are looking for at Texas Antiques Week, it does not exist. ;)
Have an advance plan on how you will get it home. Rent a UHaul. Drive a truck and borrow an enclosed trailer. Hire a moving service. Just don't suffer the despair of leaving a treasure behind.
There are moving companies in the area that will pick up and haul your purchases. Contact the Round Top Chamber of Commerce for the list of current shippers.
Follow Flown The Coop for a local perspective on Texas Antiques Week and her year round adventures! Email Tiffany with questions anytime!