The antiques themselves were wonderfully old, but the location of the 2013 Antique Festival in Morrisburg was very new. This year, the Festival, which was held July 20-21, was set up in downtown Morrisburg, in the plazas.
“From all that we are hearing, we have a success on our hands, said Gerri Fitzsimmons, manager of the South Dundas Chamber of Commerce. “The vendors (about 20 this year) told us they were very happy with the new venue. We found that we had steady visitors to the tents both Saturday and Sunday. Everything set up on the main mall, and really visible, which seemed to attract a lot of visitors. Also there was no admission price for the Festival.”
This year’s Antique Festival was operated for the first time by the Morrisburg Business Improvement Association, after the Morrisburg & District Lions Club indicated they were no longer able to operate the popular event. Carl McIntryre served as the chair of the committee, which assumed responsibility for organizing the festival in May.
“Earlier this year, our mayor outlined goals for South Dundas,” McIntyre said. “An event like this festival, bringing partnerships with business, government and local groups, really speaks to those goals. Doug Grenkie and the Pinkus family were very generous in donating their buildings to our event.”
“From a business poll we took,” Fitzsimmons said, “local businesses saw a substantial increase in traffic and revenue. Many felt that this move was a great idea. We are going to use feedback from the surveys to determine where to concentrate advertising in the future and to determine improvements for next year’s event.”
Shoppers could visit places like the tent of Brian Wildsmith, a specialist in antique ‘advertising.’ “Signs and any kind of advertising materials are top sellers in the antique market today,” he explained.
Mistralle Brouillard of Ottawa was interested in old books, while Susan and Chris Dwyre of Brockville were “looking for old toys.” Donna Leroux of Glen Walter came to Morrisburg’s Antique Festival to examine estate jewellery.
Times Past Antiques, from Ottawa, specialized in silver and antique objects from England and the continent. There were booths showing furniture, china, music and other collectibles and even a display of Ken Carter memorabilia.
“We talked to visitors from as far away as Pennsylvania,” said Festival volunteer Kim Morrow.
“The response has been wonderful this weekend,” said Helen Laurin, also manning the welcome desk. “This is the Morrisburg BIA’s first time running the Antique Festival, and we will use what we learn this week to make the event even better next year.”