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Light turnout for antiques show Event continues to be an important fundraiser for Lititz Springs Park
By: GARY P. KLINGER Record Express Correspondent, Staff Writer
Saturday’s light turnout for the 45th Annual Fall Antique Show in the Lititz Springs Park won’t keep the event from returning next Labor Day weekend.
"There were 46 antiques vendors, which was down slightly from last year," said Park Board President Ron Reedy. "The weather and the economy certainly played a large part in the attendance."
An early shower, combined with dreary skies and an overall slump in the antiques market, resulted in a smaller, slower show overall. Of the 125 stands available to vendors, less than half were occupied.
Bill Seale has traveled from Baltimore to set up a stand at the show for the past four or five years. He noticed that this year’s show was smaller, but added that sales were pretty good considering the early rain.
One vendor who has been a staple at the show for the past 25 years was not as upbeat and even less willing to share his name out of concern that his comments might be taken as too critical. He said he was used to seeing the entire Lititz Springs Park filled with vendors and shoppers, but that was not the reality on Sept. 3. He blamed it largely on the economy, but said he felt that perhaps it could have been better advertised.
"With antiques, you don’t absolutely have to have them," said the vendor from Valley Forge. "People are worried about paying their mortgages, their kids’ education, and see buying antiques as a discretionary item."
He did note, however, that this remains a good show with nice people, and it’s great for the community during the Labor Day holiday.
Stanley and Gloria Groover were first-time stand-holders. They may have retired from their respective careers, but have found their second wind selling antiques at between 10 and 15 shows per year. The Annapolis/Millersville, Md. natives said that in the past they had come to the show to shop. This year, however, they decided to add it onto their roster of shows to attend as a vendor.
"Sales today have been fair to slow," said Mr. Groover. "I think it’s probably the threatening weather that may be to blame."
Still, they plan to come back to Lititz again in the future.
One vendor from Harrisburg, who would only go by Eleanor, said this is the only show she does. For the past six or seven years she has brought her mix of items to Lititz, carefully selecting each piece from her co-op in Hummelstown.
"Things have been slow this year," she said. "I’ve even been doing a lot of negotiating on price. I think it’s a combination of the rain and the economy."
Throughout the day, big ticket items such as furniture did not seem to sell as well. Smaller, lower priced items which buyers could reminisce over proved to be the success story.
Denny Cornelius of Lancaster was one of the more local vendors to set up shop in the park. This was his second year as a vendor, and while his sales were somewhat slow. He does plan to return in the future.
"It’s a very nice show," he said. "Regardless of how much money we make, the people are nice."
Reedy pointed out that the show is an important fundraiser for the park. The Lititz Springs Park Board of Trustees, a non-profit organization, relies on the revenue generated from the antique show and the Fourth of July celebration to annually assist in maintaining the park, which is a private facility for pubic use.
"The park’s show is always looked upon as a quality show to purchase antiques," he said. "The park board will continue the annual antique show and has already started to think about next year’s event, with the possibility of introducing some new venues that will make the show more inviting, not only to those who are interested in antiques and collectables, but others as well."
"On behalf of the Lititz Springs Park Board," he continued, "I want to thank Millie Eby, who has been coordinating the Antique & Collectable Show for many many years, and all who patronized this year’s show." More ANTIQUES, page A15