Frequently Asked Questions
What exactly is the "Show"?
The Brimfield Antiques Show is the largest outdoor antiques show in the world, with over 6,000 dealers and 130,000+ visitors during the course of the week. While it is convenient to refer to it as "The Show", it is actually comprised of 23 fields, owned by "Promoters", who lease spaces to dealers from all over the world. The Show takes place three times a year, usually around Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day. Because dates vary year to year, be sure to check our homepage for exact dates before you come!
Why do the dates you list differ from the dates I see elsewhere?
The dates we post are the dates sanctioned by the town, and represent the beginning and end dates during which the different fields are permitted to be open. By their own choice, different fields open on different days, and run for different periods of time. If you've seen different dates advertised by a dealer or promoter, remember that those dates represent the days that particular dealer or promoter is open, not the specific dates for the duration of the show. No matter when you come during the dates we list, there will always be more to do and see than is possible in one day: (see below:)
Does the Show run all week long?
The Show(s) begin on Tuesday and run through Sunday. While some fields open only on certain times, there are always many fields open no matter when in the Tuesday - Sunday period that you come. If you are interested in when a particular field opens, go here.
How big is the Show?
The Show runs about a mile along Route 20, on both sides of the road, extending several hundred yards back from each side of the road. Most dealers opt to show their wares inside large and comfortable tents, and all fields are contiguously located next to each other, so seeing everything is an easy stroll. While different fields may be open on different days, they are all contiguously located, (directly next to each other), and there is more than plenty to do and see whenever you come.
Is there an admission fee for visitors?
While there are several fields that charge admission fees, particularly on their opening day, the great majority do not; those that do frequently waive the admission later in the day. You can have a great time not spending a dime on admission, but if you're a professional dealer, you should know that those fields that are considered "premium" , (i.e. J&J Promotions), may ask for a $5.00-6.00 admission fee. Our advice - if you're a professional dealer, or someone who is looking for quality goods and doesn't want to waste time, pay the admission and see if you think it's worth it. (We think you will - when we are looking for fine furniture ourselves, and know what we want, we start early at J&J and then go on to the other premium fields).
Are there bathroom and dining facilities?
All fields are required by the town to provide an excess of sanitary facilities. While portable, these have come a long way toward comfort and "acceptability" and you will find them no problem to use. While there are numerous food and drink booths scattered the entire show route, the New England Motel, (situated in the middle of the show), has the largest and most popular food court, featuring a wide variety of food providers to meet your individual taste. (We like the Barbecue and Fresh Lobster Booths! - For more comfortable dining in the evening, try Francesco's and ask for Rosa's Special Sauce - tell them we said Hi!)
Are dogs permitted?
You will undoubtedly see the occasional dog trotting along, but pets are not welcome in most fields - in fact they are outright prohibited in most fields, and you will unfortunately be asked to remove your pet from the field if a promoter should see you and your pet. As much as we love our pup, we wouldn't dream of subjecting her to the stress, heat and crowds. Its hard on them, there can be so much people-traffic and heat. Do yourself, other guests and especially your pup a huge favor, and leave him/her at home.
Are strollers able to get around the show ok?
Yes, strollers can get around just find, although as several of the fields are loose to hard-packed gravel, we have seen folks struggling the push through the gravel. Most fields do not have gravel, and for those that do, it's really only a minor inconvenience.
Is public transportation available to the show?
Only the Peter Pan Bus Line has regular routes into and out of Sturbridge from Boston, Springfield, Rhode Island and NYC. However there are no local options into Brimfield, and the traffic delays (which can occasionally hit the hour mark) make cabs a poor option. Once in Sturbridge, unless you're planning on hitch-hiking, the only option is hiring a cab which, in times of no traffic, cost upwards of $20.00 for the 8 mile trip. Public transportation is not widely available or convenient and therefore not really a desirable option.
In what towns should I look for lodging?
Since local lodging (within 15 miles of the show in all directions) is usually booked literally years in advance, your best bet is to hope for a cancellation and keep calling, or trying one of the local B&B's for cancellations, or one of the campgrounds. Nearby (within a half to an hour) towns that may have vacancies, include Springfield, Worcester or Auburn. For a list of places to stay, go HERE.
I am looking to buy a specific item or looking for dealers who sell specific items. Can you help me?
Yes and no. Since each promoter maintains their list of dealers as a confidential and propriety trade secret, no one has a database with all possible dealers. So this makes the task a little tricky. But fear not, we can offer some good suggestions. First, encourage every dealer you can to register (for free) on Brimfieldshow.com's dealer database. Next, if there's a field you prefer over the others, contact the promoter who owns the field (use this link: http://www.brimfieldshow.com/showpr~.htm and they will be able to recommend someone who sells those specific items.
Are there any shipping facilities available for (large) items I purchase?
While the individual promoters and dealers offer no on-site shipping, the Tatnuck Postal & Business Center, located at Brimfield Acres North (on the Show route) is an authorized UPA shipping outlet, offering UPS, FedEx, packing, boxes and packing supplies. (no customer packing is allowed on premises.) Speak to them first before attempting to ship LARGE or HEAVY items.
Hours are: Tues: 1:00 - 5:00, Wed - Fri: 11:5:30 and Sat: 9-12:00 noon. There are located under the pavillion Wed/Thurs/Fri. For more info, you may contact Brimfield Acres North at (508) 754-4185 or (413) 245-9471
Please send me brochures and guidebooks...
We are sorry, as we have very, (very) many requests for this, and very, (very) limited resources and are not able to send brochures, guides or other information through the mail. Brimfieldshow.com is strictly an on-line enterprise. Please contact the Chambers of Commerce listed below for brochures.
Quaboag Valley, Chamber of Commerce 429 Main Street Palmer, MA 01069 (413) 283-6149
Sturbridge Information Center 380 Main Street, Route 20 Sturbridge, MA 01566 (800)628-8379
How do I become an exhibitor or a food-vendor at the Shows?
Simple. First determine which field you would like to exhibit in, (map available here), and contact the Promoter who owns the field. Some promoters permit only experienced and well-established dealers. Others are more flexible. Certain fields are better than others for exhibiting certain items, i.e. i.e. fine furniture, glass or americana. New or smaller dealers have the easiest chance of getting into the show by exhibiting in smaller fields; other fields seek more professional/full time dealers with high net worth items. The Show is not a controlled event, in that there is no central governing body. Within limitations, the Promoters are free to set their own dates and rules. Exhibition rates vary from field to field as do exhibition days and times. Frequently, dealers will set up early in the week in one field, and, when that one closes, move to another field later in the week. The staggered openings happen by "accident", and work to everyone's benefit. We receive many requests to help dealers secure an exhibition space but we are sorry not to be of assistance, as we do not arrange or assist in field assignments, something reserved expressly by each promoter.
ls the Show wheelchair-accessible?
The answer is yes and no: all of the Promoters provide wide enough aisles and entrances that can handle wheelchairs and scooters. However, because it is the individual dealers, (who rent spaces from the promoters), who set up their own tents, sometimes tents are crowded with merchandise and not easily accessible. Even so, the majority of the Show and items on display will be accessible.
Can you appraise or identify something for me?
As unbelievable as it may sound, we're not appraisers, or even necessarily experts on antiques. We are experts on, and students of the Show itself. So, no, we can't help place a value or identify an item for you. HOWEVER, all is not lost. Many with the same question are able to receive this kind of information from other expert visitors to brimfieldshow.com. We encourage you to place a free ad on the Classifieds, under the heading: "Looking for Info on" - Here's the link: http://www.brimfieldshow.com/collectors-classifieds-intro.htm
Also, we suggest you post your request on the free bulletin boards located here: http://www.brimfieldshow.com/discus/
In many cases, there's a knowledgeable source out there who can help.
We heard there is a big fabric and textile show each year. Can you provide details, dates, etc?
The fabric and textile show is world-renown, and held in Sturbridge, the neighboring town. It is not connected with the Brimfield Antique Show. As dates and times vary, please visit www.VintageFashionAndTextileShow.com or call for information at 207-363-1320
WWe've recently heard about a "Brimfield Show West", held out in California. Can you provide details?
It seems nothing succeeds like success. We are aware of the individual who has begun a concession which he calls "Brimfield West". He, nor his concession have any relationship to the Brimfield Show, nor do we endorse or recognize this concession.
What are the hours of the show?
The show runs from sun-up to sun-down. You can check the weather page on brimfieldshow.com for exact sun-rise/sun-set times. Also, some promoters have specific OPENING hours they adhere to - go here for hours: .
I'm Looking for a particular dealer I saw during a previous show, can you help?
The first recommendation we can make is to check the dealer database. If the dealer is not in the database, the only other available option is to contact the promoter whose field you were in at the time. If you can't remember which field, but have a general idea of where you were, look at the map, and try contacting the promoters in that general vicinity.
Are scooters, wheelchairs, bikes, etc. available for rental?
No, sorry, no one has taken it upon themselves to do this yet.
I bought something/I wished I bought something/ I can't find the dealer/Can you help me find the dealer who sell widgets/etc.
This is not an uncommon situation and a remedy is usually available. Best bet - if you can remember in which field you saw or bought the item, you should contact the promoter who owns the field (use this link: http://www.brimfieldshow.com/showpr~.htm and they will be able to tell you.
Or, search our database for whatever names you can recall or items purchased: http://www.brimfieldshow.com/cgi-local/webdata_brimshow.pl?cgifunction=user
Next case, place a free "looking for info" classified ad on our site: http://www.brimfieldshow.com/collectors-classifieds-intro.htm
Finally, post a message on the bulletin boards on our site:
At any rate, we wish you success, of course if all the promoters made their lists of dealers public, we'd all have a much easier time answering questions like this.
How can I help brimfieldshow.com?
Please tell every dealer you meet that they can become listed in the database of Brimfield's most popular Show-related site for free, simply by clicking here.
I'm very upset! I came into town to visit the Show the same time as last year, and they told me I had just missed it! (Or it takes place next week!) Why do you keep changing the dates of the Show, rather than keeping them the same from year to year?
Unfortunately, the 23 Promoters who run their individual Shows which comprise the "Brimfield Shows" have nothing to do with setting the dates for the show. The Town of Brimfield is actually responsible for setting the dates of the Show, and the Town Selectmen do so in their best judgement as to when the Show should be held. We agree, it would be preferable if the Show weeks were consistent from year to year, as many visitors expect the Show dates to be the same each year, but unfortunately that is not the case. And MANY have been disappointed by arriving either too early or too late. Please be sure to check Brimfieldshow.com for the current dates.
Are there antique Shops open year-round in Brimfield, even when the Shows are not on?
Well, there are a few scattered here and there along Rt 20, but your best bet - and our preference for a easy day of shopping - is the Town of Putnam, CT. The entire center of the small town is occupied by 17 antique shops with over 400 dealers. And there are also some neat places to catch a meal, or even afternoon tea at Mrs. Bridge's Pantry. It is an original-style English tea-house and grocery store with genuine English teas and foods. It makes for a great afternoon of fun. And they're not even advertisers! (trust us - its fun...) Putnam is about a 25 minute ride south from Brimfield.
Putnam Antiques District*