In 2008, as the economy took a spectacular dive into recession, the antiques market went down with it. Dana Jo Cameron, who’s been running the Hailey antiques shows for nearly 20 years, said suddenly no one wanted to buy vintage and retro keepsakes. But this year, for the first time in almost 10 years, the market is looking up again.
“[I] strongly see it coming back. People are out there, they’re collecting [again], and when they find them, they buy them,” Cameron said in an interview with the Idaho Mountain Express the week before the big Fourth of July Hailey Antique & Art Show.
This year’s event will be bigger than ever, thanks to a new breath of life blown into the event, including the addition of a beer garden, and food vendors that will add a new element for shoppers and those they drag along with them. Though the antique markets have narrowed down to one instead of two in Hailey like previous years, Cameron said the event this year will bring back old vendors and massive amounts of vintage bounty.
“They’re bringing large loads,” she said.
Vendors hope that the added draw of brew will keep shoppers shopping and maybe bring new clients who aren’t necessarily into retro retail but might spot something on their way to the garden.
Merchandise will range from hand-made jewelry crafted from old coins to industrial-style furniture made from scrap metal and wood. There will be booths hosted by owners from across the country, from Florida to Montana to right here in Idaho.
“It’s going be a great variety,” Cameron said.
When people heard there would be only one antique show in Hailey this year, as well as a beer garden alongside it, vendors who haven’t participated in the past few years due to the decline in the market came out of the woodwork. Cameron said there will be about 50 vendors, some renting out two to four spaces for the large hauls of goods they’ll be selling to the masses.
Thousands of people swarm into Hailey on Fourth of July weekend to experience not just the rodeo and parade but unique events like the antique show, and Cameron said that year after year, the clientele have not been disappointed, with at least one vendor who completely sold out at last year’s show.
Shoppers look for one-of-a-kind finds, and Cameron said there’s something for everyone this year, including merchandise such as purses made from vintage bark cloth and “American County” that sells strictly American classics like old crockpots, quilts and butter churners.
Surprisingly, Cameron said, there are many antiques shoppers who are men, so this year’s addition of a beer garden will add an extra element of delight.
“It’s more like a festival this year,” she said.
The antiques show will be at Roberta McKercher Park, on the south end of Hailey from July 4-6, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.