Brimfield Outdoor Antique Shows
History and Introduction
Home to the World Famous Brimfield Outdoor Antique Shows
Welcome to the Quaboag Hills and to the world famous Brimfield Outdoor Antique Shows, a New England tradition since 1959. Twenty show promoters now operate individual adjacent shows along a one mile stretch of Route 20. Show grounds are referred to as fields, with varying numbers of dealers from just a few to over 600. Many dealers exhibit under tents, some in buildings or pavilions. The show openings are staggered throughout the six day show period, with most remaining open through Sunday.
Whether it’s your first time to Brimfield, or you are a seasoned visitor, we promise that you will see something to tempt even the most discriminating buyer. The Brimfield Antique Shows have drawn antique dealers, buyers, and curiosity seekers from all corners of the world to this small New England town for years. Whether you are looking for the finest antiques the world has to offer, or the smallest bric-a-brac, you’ll find it here at the nation’s largest outdoor antiques and collectibles event. That unique piece that will complete your collection, or fit perfectly on the mantle, may be just around the corner.
The Brimfield Experience
While antique shows, shops, flea markets, and tag sales come and go, the Brimfield experience shines each year as the consummate example of the collectibles tradition in New England. Touted by some as the “grand-daddy” of outdoor antique shows, there is a rich tradition and sub-culture to Brimfield which serves to enhance its reputation in the industry. These shows create an atmosphere of festivity and excitement for the browser or buyer, the dealer or the dilettante alike. The fact that a town the size of Brimfield can, for a week at a time, expand in population to the size of a small city, maintain and manage traffic, parking, services and the influx of thousands, is a tribute to that intangible quality we call Yankee ingenuity. The job will get done, and it will be done well… with a warm New England smile. Experience has honed the skills of area residents to the point that they can almost sense your need before you ask the question… but ask anyway, you might be surprised at the answer! For those new to the vastness of the Brimfield antiquing experience, it is important to note that as many deals take place among dealers as do between dealer and customer. Many of the dealers have gathered together in Brimfield for years; some over the past twenty or thirty. Thus, the event has taken on the air of an old fashioned family reunion where you’ll find folks catching up on business since they last met. In addition, they can be heard updating each other on children, grandchildren and all the ongoing events of their daily lives. Take an evening drive through Brimfield, and you will notice by both sight and sound the many gatherings in trailers, under tents, around cooking areas, and beyond the security gates. These are dealers, members of a unique and longstanding profession. This is their convention, their opportunity to make sure that they are up on the latest information about collectibles, the latest “great find”, or emerging “hot” items. When dawn breaks over the Brimfield hills, the crowds have already gathered. Many wait patiently for the gates of their favorite field to swing open. Others cluster in teams, intent on plotting their strategy on how to cover the show as rapidly and as efficiently as possible. Some have it down to a science! Many clutch flashlights or cell phones in hand. Others look like miners, headlamps in place, preparing for their daily descent. Lists are clutched excitedly, and cheerful anticipation is in the air. They check and double check. “You start down the far side and work to the middle… I’ll start at the back and work forward.” These people are serious about antiques! For some, a great find is waiting just ahead.
And then there are those who just love the crowd, or the excitement; who dabble, or are just looking for that one spoon in Great Aunt Mary’s pattern that will complete the silver service used only for holidays and special family celebrations. Others are just looking to see what price their own precious pieces would bring – if they could ever part with them. Dealers are often glad to share their specialized knowledge, perhaps to make a sale or perhaps to connect with a fellow enthusiast. People can be seen enjoying a variety of food choices from the stands scattered throughout the show grounds. Listening to the conversations that take place can be as entertaining as anything else at Brimfield, particularly when nostalgia takes over under the influence of a toy remembered from childhood, a flintlock rifle “reminiscent of the one my grandfather had over the mantle, or “like the one in our house in Georgia”. Decorators flock to the shows to catch an idea or find that special piece that will complement their latest vision. If you enjoy watching people and their enjoyment of “the hunt”, then you are destined to become a devotee of Brimfield for many years to come. It all happens here, in one form or another, and it has created a phenomenon with a world-wide reputation as a “not-to-be-missed” experience. Not to be missed, and never to be forgotten.
We are glad that you chose to make the Quaboag Hills a part of your journey this year. We invite you to join the likes of Benjamin Franklin and George Washington in exploring some of the many hidden treasures the Quaboag Hills and central Massachusetts have to offer. You'll discover a taste of history and a sense of community that goes well beyond the ordinary. If you would like further information about other area attractions, please feel free to contact the Quaboag Hills Chamber of Commerce at 413-283-2418. We hope your visit is successful and your stay is enjoyable.
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