Kathy Johnson, owner of Pieces of the Past in Johnson City, has enabled my husband’s architectural antiques habit for the past 15 years. When I started researching camping trips to Round Top, I knew exactly whom to call! She offered to share a few insider secrets, so now we can all plan an October road trip! ~Elaine
The Inside Scoop on Antiques Week at Round Top and Warrenton
By Guest Blogger Kathy Johnson, Owner, Pieces of the Past
Round Top Weekend. You’ve heard of it, right? It’s one of the biggest collections of antique…ers and junk…ers in the country. Made famous more than 40 years ago by Houston’s Emma Lee Turney, you’ll find Round Top tucked halfway between Houston and Austin.
The Spring show is the first weekend in April and the fall show is the first weekend in October.
I’ll let you in on a little secret…that’s not exactly correct.
My advice? Don’t go those weekends. Go at least one week prior to those dates. Why? Because all the dealers and shoppers “in the know” have already arrived, set up, and started shopping. Some have even been there for two or three weeks.
No way you say?
WAY, I say.
When you decide to go will depend on what you want to see and do. Two of the big shows, Marburger and the Red Barn, have very specific start and end dates. You can check their websites for dates and information.
In my opinion, Warrenton has some of the best shopping and deals to be found…especially for those out and about before the “published” show dates. There are a very large number of Fields/Shows and if you haven’t been before, you may be a little overwhelmed.
What’s a person to do?
Kathy travels to Round Top in her retro Airstream.
A good way to plan for the show is to get that camper up and running and ready for a road trip. This might be a good time to leave the dogs and kids at home so you’ll have more room to carry your treasures. There are several reasons the RV is the way to go. You’ll probably get hot, tired, confused, and hungry during your trip; and, you may be just a bit upset at all the “sold” tags you’ll see on the things you would like to have bought. Last minute hotels and B & B’s are scarce, but you can usually find a RV site. Then, you’ll have the luxury of going to your place for a quick lunch and nap or to drop off your treasures. And, while you’re hanging out under your awning for happy hour or your morning coffee, you will certainly meet some of the coolest people and hear some of the best stories around (well, at least at Elaine’s place, anyway).
To find an RV park, check out the Round Top Chamber of Commerce website. The Chamber staff is very helpful, and you can feel free to call them with any questions.
When you get to Round Top, pick up The Show Daily. It’s a must for all of you new folks. It has all the info you’ll need, such as maps, info on dealers, and stories on the shows; you can find it in some of the local businesses and restaurants, and a lot of the dealers will have it as well. Check it out online if you want to plan in advance. It also has suggestions about the best places to eat, and even who will ship your purchases. You’ll never see all of the fields and shows…in fact, you’ll be lucky if you drive past half of them. So The Show Daily is the perfect way to plan each day.
Finally, here’s a tip on the weather. It’s Texas. One day it will be so hot you can’t stand it, and another it’ll be chilly and rainy. Pack a hat and a water bottle, and throw in some rubber boots (after all, for the most part, you’re walking in cow pastures). Some folks bring wagons to carry their goodies; some even bring golf carts to carry their tired bodies and beat the other guys to the next dealer.
I’m a University of Texas fan, so I’ll close with a quote from coach Mack Brown: “Come early, stay late and get loud!”
…I’ll end with, “and have fun!!!”