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Antiques At The Fairgrounds

Antique-Lovers’ Paradise Returns to Petoskey

Kristi Kates - June 18th, 2017  

Ready your wallet and your walking shoes: The sprawling Antiques at the Fairgrounds is back in Petoskey — twice — and as always, it’ll be chock full of everything from artwork to furniture to unusual souvenirs.


Dave Fraser is a longtime antiques dealer with over 30 years of experience, and he manages this year’s pair of Petoskey antiques shows with his wife, Lana, from their home in Torch Lake. “Petoskey’s been running this show for 22 years, and I took it over after Emmet County revamped the fairgrounds,” Fraser explained. “The show was at NCMC for four years, then I took it over. We have two shows this year — one the first weekend of July, and one the first weekend of August.”


Antiques at the Fairgrounds is a curated show, meaning not just anyone can show up and sell antiques. The dealers are vetted by Fraser and his crew to make sure there aren’t any reproductions or false antiques being sold. “We bring in over 170 big dealers from New York, Iowa, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Florida — mainly folks from east of the Mississippi, plus some dealers from Texas,” Fraser said. “There are four full buildings of dealers, and 14 group tents outdoors, with several dealers in each tent.”


A wide variety of antiques are offered, with the focus on true antiques and repurposed antiques. No arts and crafts are allowed; antiques are the star and all are carefully displayed so buyers can get a great view of what’s available. “Some of these dealer’s booths are like a museum,” Fraser said. “It’s amazing how they get such a large amount of stuff set up and displayed so quickly. I don’t know how they do it. And I’m often awed by the condition of some of the pieces. Plus the dealers are really knowledgeable and can often tell you the history of the piece you’re looking at.”


The newest thing for collectors over the past couple of years has been the industrial look, Fraser said: “Everything from the industrial side of the 1930s — metal tables on wheels, lots of industrial light fixtures.” Furniture from Victorian to country-style is another big category, as are china dishes, high-end glass items, textiles and quilts, and both vintage costume and high-end jewelry. “You’ll also see a lot of outdoor furniture, especially wicker from the turn of the century, and metal furniture that I call hotel furniture — these wonderful old metal and enameled pieces from the ’40s and ’50s,” he said. Rustic cottage furniture is also popular with people who are looking to refurnish their cottage in the style of the era it was built.


Artworks and decorative items are in full force at this market too. “Our dealers offer lots of paintings by artists from the 1910s to the 1970s,” Fraser said. “And you can also find a lot of architectural salvage pieces, like finials and newels or iron work.” And you’ll find plenty of unusual items, such as the 1930s outboard motors sold by one of Fraser’s dealers. “Another one carries these great Old Town canoes out of Maine,” he said. “But pretty much everything sells, in every category.

You can spent a lot — some of our paintings go for up to $8,000 — or you can just pick up something great for five or 10 bucks.”

The 2019 Antiques at the Fairgrounds events will be held July 6 & 7, 2019 and Aug. 3 & 4, 2019. Parking is free, admission is $5 per person for the weekend, undere 15 no charge.  Hours are Saturday 9am–5pm and Sunday 10am–4pm. Food available on site for purchase from Julienne Tomatoes (of Petoskey) and Bubba’s BBQ (of Wolverine). Sorry due to insurance no pets,  but we have plenty of shade by the gate and the workers can keep watch for you. For more information visit

Uniform tents will also be set up strategically in grassy spaces. Over 900 paved and striped parking spaces are situated right in front of the Community Building. In addition to all poster, newspaper, flyers, and stick sign advertising that will take place, the grounds have erected a large electronic billboard which will advertise our shows well in advance of the dates. Please plan on joining with us during these two fabulous weekends, whether you are a customer or a dealer. Contact us at (231)564-1971.
Yours in Antiques,  Lana And Dave Fraser
The renovations include a new air conditioned Community Center which will contain over 35 dealers, a fully-functional concession kitchen, and state-of-the-art restrooms. Another new building is the T Barn, with concrete floors and separate restrooms. This non-air conditioned building will accommodate another 35+ dealers. There are also two horse or animal stall barns which will be brimming full of treasures for customers to find.