Saratoga County

You name it, they had it at antiques fest

It was a shopper’s paradise in the heart of Round Lake at the annual antiques festival, held Satu


It was a shopper’s paradise in the heart of Round Lake at the annual antiques festival, held Saturday and Sunday.

You name it, the dozens of vendors had it. There were wooden roosters, lobster traps (minus the seafood), sections of white picket fencing, potato mashers, snowshoes with leather bindings, rocking horses, barn doors with chipped red paint, salt and pepper shakers shaped like lighthouses, bread boxes and Human Fly comic books. Merchandise was lined up on tables covered in white cloth, protected by tarps, and sellers sat in folding chairs beneath pine trees where the occasional breeze wafted by.

A mix of people “just browsing” and serious collectors on the hunt for particular pieces braved the humidity and threatening skies Sunday to stroll the open fields in the quaint village. They came pushing strollers, walking small dogs, armed with umbrellas and water bottles. A few lucky children were pulled along in comfy wagons padded with pillows.

Jack Griffin, 3, had already scored a treasure: a “Where’s Waldo” jigsaw puzzle purchased by his grandmother, Diane Griffin.

“We’re looking for outdoor planters,” Griffin, who lives in Halfmoon, said. “The setup here is so lovely; you don’t have to walk all over the place to get from booth to booth.”

Despite steep gas prices discouraging travel plans this summer, buyers and sellers hailed from across New York State and into Connecticut and New Hampshire. Vendors had to fill the tanks of U-Hauls, trucks and trailers to cart their wares to Round Lake for the weekend.

Duane and Marilyn Mullen of Rome, N.Y., had a spacious booth with turn-of-the-century wooden furniture, including china cabinets and armoires.

“We’ve been coming here for 20 years, and we have a lot of repeat customers now,” Duane Mullen said. “Many of the antique shows are indoors, and that’s one reason we like it here because outside, it’s more casual and relaxing.”

One of the most unusual items for sale was a straw, palm tree-shaped umbrella with a ticket price of $40.

“I priced it about half what it would sell for retail,” Margaret Wassar of Rochester said. “One of the best parts is that it’s lined with plastic, so it’s waterproof.”

Wassar said she typically sells many large furniture pieces in Round Lake because customers are frequently from the Adirondacks.

“People know what they want, and they buy a few things a year to add to their collection,” Wassar said.

A large version of the famous RCA trademark terrier, Nipper, beckoned people to Ken Woodbury’s booth with early 1900s phonographs, complete with nostalgic 78-RPM record albums.

“Nipper’s not for sale; I just bring him so people can drool over him,” Woodbury, who lives in New Hampshire, said. “I usually travel with him strapped on the roof of my truck. When the wind is really strong, his head rolls off because he’s in two pieces. That really freaks people out.”

Flashy brooches and necklaces attracted people to estate jewelry offered by Diane DeVolder of Rochester.

“Women want flamboyant jewelry; gold, silver and diamonds,” DeVolder said. “I tell them to buy what they like and then wear it often.”

By far the most crowded place was outside the cart selling freshly squeezed lemonade. Shoppers also fortified themselves with fried dough, kettle corn and sausage sandwiches.

With wildly varying price tags, from bargain record albums for $1 to a $2,500 handmade 1950 blue kayak, most vendors said they were remaining firm on their prices.

“We really don’t dicker,” Rae McCarthy of Springfield, Mass., said. “We put out our best price when we display. Many people walk away and then come back later.”

Yellow school buses served as free shuttles delivering shoppers to the festival, but members of churches located in the village square sat outside to offer parking spots for $5.

“We raise about $1,400 over the two days,” Charles Bellamy of All Saints Episcopal Church said. “We’re a small church and we need all the money we can get.”

Bellamy and his friends said they don’t shop at the antiques festival, but a bowl of nachos with still-warm cheese sat on a nearby chair, as did a plate with a few bites of blueberry pie waiting to be enjoyed.

“The food is always good,” Bellamy said.

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