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Chester County Press

Thousands flock to Chadds Ford antique show

04/19/2016 12:08PM ● By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw
Staff Writer

By conservative estimates, the second annual Massive Barn Market, held on the grounds of the Chadds Ford Historical Society on April 16, drew an attendance of well over 5,000.  To some of those who were attempting to get to the event through the traffic that the event was creating, that estimate seemed woefully small.
Even before event organizer Lisa Vonderstruck of Brandywine View Antiques cut the ribbon at 9 a.m. to welcome the first wave of attendees, hundreds more lined the entrance to what became a small village of curiosity. Throughout the picturesque spring morning and afternoon, more than 80 vendors joined 11 food and beverage stations to form avenues of antiques, collectibles, deals and negotiations.
Meanwhile, outside of the event grounds, traffic was a bottleneck of vehicles along Route 1 and Route 100, as local and state police – joined by volunteers -- directed visitors to parking lots, which were half filled by the beginning of the event.  
Almost immediately, comparisons were being made by vendors to the first Massive Barn Market, held last year, that drew 50 vendors, a few food trucks, and about 1,500 visitors.
“This is wonderful,” said Downingtown antique dealer Dave Wojo, who was joined by his wife, Jo Ann. “We're here to see what's selling, and we were completely taken aback by the amount of people who are here. I've never seen anything like this in this area. We've seen everything from hand-painted artistry to older furniture that's been re-purposed. There are vendors who creating a shabby chic look with old furniture.  There's so much exposure here for vendors and dealers. You'll never see this kind of crowd at any single antique store.”
For other vendors, the market served as a showcase.
“My work has a vintage feel so it fits in nicely here,” said Jenny Alexander of Painted Lily near Lancaster, who has been in business for 11 years and sells to customers around the world. “Lisa has been doing the show circuit and been in business in the area for a long time, so she knows everyone. She can simply send an e-mail and say, 'You've got to come!' It's not only a great retail opportunity, but it gives vendors like me the chance to do wholesale sales as well.”
A second Massive Barn Market is scheduled for Oct. 8 at the Barn Visitors Center.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail [email protected]