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Antiques Fair returns to Plaza Sunday

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013 | Posted by
Antiques Fair

Rawleigh Fjeld and Bob Rawlins are co-chairs of the Antiques Fair. (Photo: Ann Carranza)

In a move anticipated by vendors and antiques collectors alike, the Healdsburg Antiques Fair returns to the Healdsburg Plaza this Sunday, August 25.

Last spring, the City of Healdsburg made the unpopular decision to deny the Healdsburg Antiques Fair permission to hold the popular fair in the Plaza. The fair, they determined, was a commercial venture, rendering it ineligible to rent the Plaza, though it had been held there for two decades.

The Healdsburg Museum had been the nominal sponsor of the fair for a number of years, though they made little money from the event.

Antiques fair promoter Bill Weinstein decided not to appeal the City’s decision and the fair moved to the parking lot behind Bear Republic, at the corner of Vine and North streets. At the time, Rawleigh Fjeld spoke with Weinstein to say if he ever decided to retire, would he speak with the Healdsburg Museum first.

“The City took a lot of flak from people about moving the fair,” said Fjeld. “But it was the right decision to make. The venture wasn’t a true non-profit and the Plaza needs protection – everyone wants to have an event there. It has to be kept for the greater community.”

Weinstein did decide to retire and made a “great offer,” according to Fjeld.  So she, along with Bob Rawlins, put together a plan to present to the Museum board. The board decided to “take a leap of faith,” said Fjeld.

“We hope to derive $5000 from each show,” said Fjeld, though she made it clear they would not garner that amount with this week’s event. “We’re earmarking the money to ‘Keeping the Past Perfect,’” she said.

“Keeping the Past Perfect” is a museum program to upgrade the storage and archiving of the museum’s collections. Current storage is inadequate. It is just one of the new, dedicated programs focused on a specific area of needs for the museum.

Other programs include, “Help Us, Help You,” to pay for an administrative assistant. “History in Ink” to pay for the Russian River Recorder publication, a “Visit from Home,” to fund online exhibits, as well as others. Many of these areas will be presented in a display at the Antiques Fair on Sunday.

“There are no food booths, so it offers a wonderful opportunity to our local restaurants around the Plaza,” said Fjeld. “We also reminded wineries, so they could tie in wine club events, if they wished.”

Fjeld says they expect up to a thousand people to the upscale event that includes antiques, artists and collectibles.

“We will have between 65 and 90 booths,” she predicted. “We have a new jewelry maker and other new vendors.” The museum does not take a percentage of vendors’ sales, they charge a flat $135 booth fee, $100 for a few smaller booths.

While there is some residual vendor resentment from the move last May, and ten will not return this month, Fjeld believes they will have a successful event nevertheless.

“We haven’t had any negativity from those coming,” said Fjeld. “People are gratified the Healdsburg Museum has taken over the event.”

The Healdsburg Antiques Fair runs in the Healdsburg Plaza from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

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Ann Carranza,
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