Up for a little treasure hunting?
The annual Lethbridge Antique and Toy Show and Sale returns to Exhibition Park Jan. 26 and 27, bringing its usual array of nostalgic treasures to delight visitors young and old.
The popular event features some 200 tables displaying antiques, retro and vintage items, games, glassware, jewelry, dolls and toys; country, cottage and farmhouse decor; comics, sports cards; military, sports and coin collectibles; diecast collectibles; action figures; farm toys, quilts and more. There will also be a concession and kettle corn available.
The show will run Saturday, Jan. 26 from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the South Pavilion at Exhibition Park, located at 3401 South Parkside Drive. Admission is $4, with children 12 and under admitted free.
The event is run by volunteers and proceeds after expenses go to assist local charities. In the past, the show has benefited such organizations as Harbour House, Interfaith Food Bank Baby Program, Lethbridge Food Bank, Salvation Army Kids’ Camp, STARS Air Ambulance, cancer research, the Humane Society, Scouts programs, and Streets Alive.
“We try to pick charities so that the money stays local,” event organizer Dick Groenheide said prior to a previous year’s show.
Groenheide has been organizing the annual show since 2013, and this year’s event will be the 10th one staged in Lethbridge. The show has its roots in Coaldale, where it was operated for several years by the Coaldale Chamber of Commerce. After the chamber decided to stop organizing it, “some of us vendors took it over,” Groenheide said.
The show is fun for all ages, from adults who bask in the nostalgia of seeing items from bygone years to youngsters who are understandably drawn to the vast assortment of toys.
Groenheide said it isn’t hard to tell when a visitor is gripped by nostalgic feelings because of something they’ve spied at the show.
“When someone comes by your booth, by the sparkle in their eyes, you can tell they’ve had this before at some time in their life.”
Groenheide can understand such feelings, since he was a fan of Hot Wheels toys when he was young and continues to collect them.
The show which began humbly in a school gym now attracts 2,000-plus attendees over the two days, and vendors come from Calgary, Red Deer and beyond in order to participate.