Wednesday, August 19, 2009

September's fairly bursting with street fair fun

An ideal mini-vacation is a weekend spent wandering through a lively antique street fair. And why not drop in at some of the local antique shops while you're at it? Often these events are set in the restored historic district away from the madness of the malls. Parking and admission are usually free, and the organizers go out of their way to offer a fun atmosphere for the whole family, with music and food to enhance the day's browsing. It's best to arrive early, before the heat of the day, when parking is easier, and while the selections are still optimal.

Today we'll cover Oregon's street fairs, tomorrow we'll cruise south to California!

Display at the Oregon City Open Air Antique Fair beguiles passersby with lots of refreshing whites and pastels

Oregon has its share of outdoor antique events starting Sunday, August 30 when Oregon City hosts its "Open Air Antique Fair" with more than 100 booths set up on six square blocks of the historic Main Street. A food court will provide the fuel for an afternoon's browsing, the live music from the 60's and 70's will set a nostalgic scene, and appraisers will be on hand to help evaluate your finds. More than 10,000 visitors arrive in Oregon City every year for this successful event, now in its 14th year. Ashley King at the Oregon City Chamber of Commerce can give you more details (call 503-656-1619), or you can visit their website. Oregon City is just off Hwy. 205, southeast of Portland.

The beautifully refurbished old buildings of Albany's Historic District overlook the annual Albany Antiques in the Streets.
Photo by Oliver J. Anderson

In Oregon, the streets of the Albany Downtown National Historic district will be literally filled with antiques on Saturday, Sept. 12. At this 12th annual "Antiques in the Streets," you can find everything from vintage furniture, glassware, pottery and linens to architectural items such as windows, doors and hardware, and many assorted collectibles. Admission to the event is free, and not only are there going to be vendors of antiques and collectibles from all over the Northwest, but there will also be food booths so that you can recharge your batteries with out missing a deal! An appraiser will be on hand to evaluate your own collectible, or the one you just bought. First Avenue will be blocked off for the day, so that organizers can create a bigger and more visible marketplace. Be sure to stop by the Albany Downtown Association booth and get an ice-cream, as well as some literature and coupons to downtown businesses. While in Albany you can also visit the three museums downtown and shop at the Farmer's Market just a few blocks away. The hours for the event are 8 am to 4 pm, rain or shine. Check out the Albany Downtown Association website to keep up with what is happening in Downtown. Vendor space is still available, but you need to call 541-928-2469 soon to get a spot. Albany is on Hwy. I-5, just south of Salem.

If you're already in Albany that weekend and not shopped-out, it's not far to Coburg, where you'll find the 22nd annual Original Coburg Antique Fair the next day, Sunday, Sept. 13. This very popular event also takes place in the historic district, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, and has grown to encompass some 300 antique dealers, so wear your walking shoes for some serious browsing. You'll feast your eyes on an endless array of intriguing antiques and collectibles while tapping your toes to live music and treating your tastebuds to snacks from several food booths. Admission and parking are free, as always. Contact Roxann Emmons at the Coburg Antique Malls, (541) 683-0916 for more details, or check out their website. Coburg is only five miles north of Oregon's capital, Eugene.

Photo: Ruby glass lamp, art and painted furniture at Coburg's Antique Street Fair

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