On Sunday, March 31, customers and vendors flocked to Old Town Clovis for the spring edition of the Clovis Antiques Fair. And, with a 77-degree day in the valley, it was the perfect time for customers and visitors to enjoy the event.
Vendors began setting up their booths and items as early as 4 a.m., and they began dealing among themselves starting at 7 a.m. The fair officially opened at 8 a.m. and ran until 4 p.m. The event featured antiques and food booths set up around Old Town, as well as a train that carried families through Pollasky between Fourth and Fifth streets. According to Carole Lester from the Business Organization of Old Town, roughly 10,000 people attended this year’s Spring Antiques Fair.
An assortment of antiques were available to interested customers. From Cozy Cottage Antiques, people could find items such as furniture, glassware, jewelry, vintage clothing, kitchenware, lithographs, books, military items, and old toys. The Original 4th Street Antique Mall featured products including fine china, sterling flatware and silver pieces, crochet pieces, linen and lace items, original oil, and a collection of vintage and estate jewelry.
Wanda Leon, owner of Fifth Street Antiques, commented on “focus” items featured at this year’s show; “Our dealers brought fresh products to the Antiques Show with a big focus on garden, lots of vintage garden decor and yard art.”
Along with the 12 antique shops in Old Town, vendors from out of town made their way to the Central Valley to participate in the event. Lester said about the fair, “People come from all over California –– southern California, up north, and the coast –– and it’s great…because it brings in new people and new items. It gives our guests some fun, new things to look at and good quality things.”
Various Old Town antiques stores have been a part of the fair for quite some time, and the shop owners enjoy being a part of the spring event.
Dennis Kirk Boudreaux, who owns Suquie’s Treasures and DenKirk Arms with his wife Claudette Sue Boudreaux, spoke on his favorite part of the Antiques Fair: “I love getting the chance to meet and talk to a lot of interesting folks. I love the personal contact, and we get to talk about the Old Town story.”
Leon also expressed her favorite part of the event. She said, “My favorite part is finding that amazing piece you didn’t know you needed until you see it! The streets are filled with unique one-of-a-kind treasures.”
Some antiques store owners even provided tips for first-time antiques shoppers. According to Marty Watt, the owner of the Original 4th Street Antique Mall, “Wear comfortable shoes, bring cash because cash talks to street vendors, and don’t be afraid to ask questions because education on something is everything. Vendors are always eager to share information.”
Lori Frazier, who owns Cozy Cottage Antiques with Linda, said, “My advice to people that are wanting to start collecting is to buy items that speak to you. Don’t follow current trends. And, if you find something you love, don’t walk away from it to think about it because when you come back to get it, it will be gone.”
A staple of the Clovis community, the antiques industry has been around town for years and was formerly known as the Peddlers Fair (although, to this day, some still refer to the event by this original name). According to Peg Bos, curator of the Clovis-Big Dry Creek Museum, antiques shops have been a part of Clovis as early as the 1920s. Initially, there were many second-hand stores on Clovis Avenue. Bos also stated that antique stores evolved in the 1980s, specifically around 1982 during Old Town Clovis’ redevelopment.
As the antiques industry continues to thrive in the Clovis Community, Lester has noticed a recent trend with buyers: “A lot of young people are starting to incorporate antiques into their modern style of living. Cameras, globes, typewriters, and mid-century modern pieces are popular with young people, and a lot of dealers are shifting to finding these new pieces.”
The opportunity to pick up antique pieces does not stop at this fair as visitors are welcome to stop buy the antique stores set up throughout Old Town Clovis. The next Antiques Fair will be taking place this coming fall in September.