Hudson --Top antique experts, dealers and buyers from across the region will converge on Hudson Sept. 2. The 32nd annual Western Reserve Academy (WRA) Antiques Festival will mark the traditional end to summer. What makes this year even more special is that it will be the last year for the festival.
"We're going all out to make it an unforgettable experience," said festival co-chair Mindy Covington. "We have a great line-up of exceptional dealers and merchandise."
Festival visitors can browse the wares of 100 antiques dealers of the region, some of whom travel from as far as Indiana and South Carolina for this major antiques event. They bring silver and gold jewelry, fine porcelain and crystal, linens, Oriental rugs, folk art and fine art, antique implements, and garden statues. This year's offerings include a large 13-star Civil War Naval Ensign flag; a 19th century French compote; an English epergne; a figural silver center stand; and an optician's lens polisher/grinder patented in 1895.
Two exquisite pieces of antique jewelry may be won for as little as $5 each. The festival will raffle off an elegant lady's watch, crafted circa 1920s, in platinum with 64 single-cut diamonds. This sparkling, one-of-a-kind piece from Gatsby's era was appraised for $3000. A second lucky winner will take home a pair of elegant sterling silver and turquoise beaded earrings. Raffle tickets are $5 each or five for $20.
Dealer Carroll Swope of Swope Antiques in Canton, Ohio, has participated in the festival every single year since its inception, and likes to bring 18th and 19th century furnishings mixed with modern abstract paintings.
John & Ellen Tietjen of Tietjen's Antiques in Marblehead, Ohio said, "The WRA Antiques Festival is one of our favorites. Beautiful setting, great dealers and quality merchandise."
With streets closed off for the Festival, visitors will stroll lanes of booths to peruse fine handcrafted furniture from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries as well as vintage arts and collectibles. Walking tours offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the historic 19th-century buildings of WRA. At 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., WRA Archivist & Historian Tom Vince will lead guided tours of the Academy's "Brick Row," the Chapel, the nation's second-oldest observatory (Loomis Observatory), and other areas not usually open to the public.
The Festival takes place, rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the center of Western Reserve Academy's historic campus, at the intersection of College and Chapel Streets in Hudson. General admission for adults is $8 and under 18 are admitted free. Back this year by popular demand is the Antique Lovers' Preview & Breakfast from 8:30 to 10 a.m., offering serious collectors a head start on finding the day's rarest treasures. The Preview breakfast buffet features bakery-fresh pastries, yogurt, fresh fruit, home-made granola, fruit juices, coffee, tea and more. Tickets for the preview and breakfast are $25.
All tickets can be bought in advance at downtown Hudson locations; or at the gates on the day of the show. Parking is free, and the festival is a short stroll from the "Taste of Hudson" event in the city's downtown.
The 32nd Annual Western Reserve Academy Antiques Festival is sponsored by the Pioneer Women's Association of Western Reserve Academy, a nonprofit organization comprised of the mothers of past and present WRA students, alumnae, and other friends of the school. Founded in 1826, WRA is the one of the oldest boarding schools in the nation, and its 400 students hail from across the United States and 14 foreign countries.
See www.antiquesfestival.com and www.facebook.com/WRAantiques for more information.
For more information on WRA, please visit: wra.net.