All the pretty images and trends from yesterday were fantastic to look at, but we thought we’d write a little bit of advice for those of you considering going to Round Top. First of all, if you are considering it, GO! It’s amazing and totally worth the three hour drive from San Antonio. People come from all over the world to attend this show, so I feel like if you already live in Texas it’s sort of required if you love all things vintage.
That being said, it can be really overwhelming if you don’t have a plan, and there aren’t really maps of how it all works together. I recommend going the first time with someone who already knows the shows. I’ve been going for 5 years now, so I know many of the vendors by name. They recognize me, and I like to believe that they give me their best deals because they know I’ll be back to the next show in 6 months looking for them. It helps to have someone who has been there guide you through.
What to bring:
- A list: Think about the pieces you need and do a little research online before you go on the average price point for your items. That way if you come across something great you won’t be afraid you will find it cheaper later and pass it by only to come back and see that sold sticker on it later! A list also helps you not get so overwhelmed by the massive amount of stuff out there! And trust me, there is SO much and SO many great things it can get overwhelming fast.
- A tape measure: If you know that you want a coffee table or a dresser or another big item make sure you measure at home before you get to the show and bring the measurements with you.
- Sunscreen: Its hot and sunny most of the time.
- Water Bottles: see above! and a snack or two.
- Wipes: your hands will be dirty after just one tent of antiques so its nice to be able to clean off.
- A bag or rolling cart: You are going to have to carry all those treasures some how!
- Space to transport: A car or truck you can fit things in.
- A friend: seriously I don’t recommend going it alone. There is a lot of area to cover and cell phone coverage is iffy. Its hard to drive and see where you want to stop without a second pair of eyes looking for you.
- An umbrella or poncho- This was the first show I’ve gone to without a major rain shower in the afternoon.
How it works:
Round Top isn’t just one big antique show its many, many shows all stacked down the road. There are big shows like Marburger Farms and the Big Red Barn that have a cost (well worth it! Marburger has the best displays by far) and there are small fields that are free, that you can only tell the names by their signs over their driveways.
In the photo above you can see an area is that is sometimes called the junky fields but its actually several shows. See each of those driveways? They are separate fields with different names. See what I mean when I say it helps to go with someone who knows the show well? You can look up calendars of when each show or field is open and that will help if you are going for the first time. There is space to drive your car or truck down most of the areas to pick up big treasures and many vendors are super helpful about helping load. There are also tents that sell packing/shipping materials and who will transport or ship your goodies for you.
Here is how our day went: (We only had one day but I’d recommend going for a few days if you had the time because that is really how much it would take to see most of it)
How cute are baby longhorns? I think I’m becoming a true Texan if I stopped to take photos of the bluebonnets and longhorns. All I need are a few more “Y’alls” and I’ll be there!
If you only have one day, which was our situation this Spring, I recommend going Tuesday, which is preview day for Marburger. It costs a little more to get in but you get all the best stuff! Other people have the same idea and there is always a line of people waiting to run in when they ring the opening bell.
People will literally run to their favorite vendors to see what they have and get first rights to buy! Amanda and Sarah couldn’t help but reenact – and we look awesome for having been in the car before sun-up!
Marburger itself is made up of tents and other various adorable buildings. I totally have my favorite tents and always head to those first.
See what I mean about this show being huge? This is just one row in one tent and I was standing in the middle!
This is where knowing what you are looking for and how much a fair prices is comes in handy. Things that are priced fair and fit the latest trends go fast. Amanda always thinks of her “threshold” before looking at a price tag to decide if she’ll buy something or not; it’s how she sticks to her budget and doesn’t get sucked into buying something on a whim. This mattress spring was the right size but almost $100 over her “what I’d actually pay for it” threshold – so we didn’t even bother bargaining.
The other thing that I personally love about Marburger is how great the people watching is. There will be people dressed to the nines and then people in their workout gear next to people in head to toe Magnolia Pearl (wild west muslinish outfits). People are super friendly, in the photo above a couple stopped to tell Amanda and I what to look for in the tobacco baskets that make them worth more, ( nice color on the outside with some lettering and no broken weaves) and what they were used for (to hold tobacco leaves at the markets for sale). Vendors love to tell you what items were used for and their stories and I really love that! I’ve also seen many famous people shopping for their own homes including Martha Stewart, Sandra Bullock, Tori Spelling, and tons of famous interior design bloggers. One of my favorite stories was walking behind the creator of the curious sofa and watching her stop and rearrange booths so that they would look better for a picture.
And don’t worry there is something style wise for everyone. We may have listed trends yesterday but there is a little of everything for everyone.
I don’t know if you noticed but there was a baboon in a tiara…so…yeah, something for everyone. Industrial, shabby chic, American, European, mid-century modern… if you want it, you can find it.
After Marburger we usually head over to the junk fields. Its a lot less pretty displays and a lot more digging but you can find great pieces if you are willing to search. We like to each lunch in North Gate.
There are a lot of eating opportunities, Marburger has a lot of options, and Royers in Round Top is famous for its pie!
You can see from the photo that it is super popular, so plan on waiting a while if you want to eat there.
After that we spent the rest of the afternoon wandering from field to field and loaded up to head home around 5:00pm. You get to pass by the worlds smallest Catholic chapel on your way out!
We had a great day! It was Sarah’s fourth time visiting and Amanda’s first!