By: James HowellStaff Writerjhowell@heartlandpublications.com
September 23, 2012
Ashe County’s inaugural Olde Times Antiques Fair was met with a large crowd and positive reviews from vendors on Saturday.
“The turnout has been bigger than we expected for a first-time event,” said Keith Woodie, owner of Antiques on Main, sponsor of the event.
According to Woodie, the event played host to 42 different vendors renting out 45 spaces. Most of these vendors sold antiques, while a few vendors sold food.
Woodie also said the entire town benefited from the event.
“The stores and restaurants in town have been packed all day, which is what we wanted,” Woodie said on Saturday.
According to Eric Smith, a waiter at Geno’s Italian & American Restaurant in West Jefferson, there was a noticeable increase in business due to the antiques fair.
“It has been busier than usual,” said Smith. “It’s been the best day I’ve had in a while.”
Vendor Cher Shaffer and her husband are independent artists and antique collectors. Shaffer gave the event a positive review.
“We had a steady crowd all day,” said Shaffer. “People weren’t just looking, they were buying; we had a healthy economy today.”
Shaffer agreed with Woodie’s statements about the size of the crowd. “I would compare it to the crowd from the Fourth of July festival,” she said.
In fact, Shaffer said the large crowds didn’t die down until around five o’clock, an hour before the closing of the event.
Not only did the crowd stay consistent throughout the day, so did the weather. According to Shaffer, the weather was “perfect” for most of the day, with the only exception being a few gusts of wind now and then. At times, these gusts were strong enough to knock over signs and other light objects.
All in all, Shaffer was happy with the event, saying, “This event was a wonderful addition.”