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For antique hunters, vintage fanatics, and general bric-a-brac lovers, Brimfield Antique Show ranks high on the list of can't miss annual outdoor marketplaces, attracting treasure-seekers from all over the country for six days, three times a year. The first 2014 session kicks off tomorrow, May 13, running through Sunday, May 18, along a half mile stretch of Route 20 in Brimfield, Massachusetts. Known for its vast scale and often challenging weather conditions—rainy Mays and sweltering Julys come to mind—the marketplace is home to more than 5,000 dealers.
1. Cash is the preferred form of payment, putting you in a better position to negotiate. Don't be shy about bargaining, but do play fair. You might even be able to arrange layaway plans for expensive items.
2. Clothing: Dress in layers (hey, some people even advertise what they're shopping for on their shirts) and wear shoes you don't mind tossing in the wash upon getting home. Water: Bring as much as you can carry, because a hydrated shopper is a happy one.
3. Speaking of carrying, you are allowed to tote wagons and carts on the field. Off the field, make sure to drive a big car if furniture and large objects are on the shopping list. While delivery is available, it is often expensive. Parking will typically top off around $10 for the day.
4. Go early, like sunrise early, for the pick of the crop. When it comes to midday snacking, head to the lunch wagons by 11am for a seat.
5. Act fast. Don't think you're the only person pining for that weird clown sculpture, that badass leather moto jacket, or uniquely shabby chic armoire.
Check on opening times for specific markets here. And beware: It's looking like a wet few days. Stay tuned to the weather forecast here.
· The Next Session of Brimfield Antique Show Kicks Off [Racked Boston]
· Brimfield Antique Show [Official Site]