Sunday, April 26, 2015

Fiesta Tent Sale, DC Area and Farm Country

Mr. P.  and I did some traveling in April over two different weekends that made for great little getaways. Mid-April we went to the DC area with an agenda that included shopping, sightseeing, cultural activity, and visiting. The following weekend was for a wedding and barn reception in Casstown, OH (just north of Dayton). It was a good mix of city and country that may be of interest to you in your own future travel planning.

The Fiestaware Factory Tent Sale was going on the Thursday we left for DC (about an hour north, on our way). This tent sale happens twice a year (April, August) in the Flatwoods, West Virginia outlet location, and in Newell, WV retail location (June, October). When we arrived, it sounded like a short-order restaurant, with dishes clanging and banging inside the tent.
Happy Shoppers at the 2015 April Fiesta Tent Sale
I didn't shop the sale, but I wanted to stop long enough to take photos of those shopping it. People camp out and stay in nearby hotels to get a jump on getting in line for this sale. The number of shoppers at one time is limited, no one under 15 is allowed in the tents at all, you're allowed to purchase a max of four milk crates full, and carts are allowed to haul your four crates, but must be narrow (you can rent them on site). Lines were long in the beginning, and it can get hot, but it's a doable venture.

Check out the line of people, where the (white) tent sale is to the right in the top half of the photo below. Those people were standing at the edge of a tractor-trailer truck (there for someone hauling this stuff!), and there were a lot more trucks with smaller trailers on the parking lot. Place settings (4-pc) can be bought for around $9 at these sales, but it's pretty dirty work. The best advice is wearing tube socks on your hands to wipe and feel for blips in manufacture as you make your selections.
April 2015 Fiesta Tent Sale - Flatwoods, WV
Moving on toward DC, we stopped overnight in the Leesburg, VA area, where I planned to visit with my cousin. She had mentioned a couple antiquing places along the way, so I stopped and did a one-hour sweep in two stores in Hagerstown, MD. She is also an antique dealer and lives near Lucketts, so that's where we met the next day (Friday). It was the first day of the first outdoor flea of the season.

Other than seeing displays and marketing policies at each of the locales, nothing intrigued me much at all. I did enjoy seeing where Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed has her huge annual sale on Lucketts' grounds (in May), and the shop where blogger Mary Alice is situated, near Lucketts by a few miles. I don't know if it was my mood, or the impending migraine the next day, or what, but I only found a few textiles to buy and one transferware pitcher - less than $50 worth of items - all in Hagerstown.
Antiquing in Hagerstown and DC areas, April 2015
It has become very frustrating for me, as a picker and dealer, to see vintage inspired items (read: Decor Steals, Antique Farmhouse) being sold in antique stores without full disclosure of the fact that the items are not antiques. That's just not good antiquing business, in my opinion, and a disservice to those new to antiquing. It's okay to mix a few reproductions in with the old, but I think dealers owe it to potential buyers to fully disclose the information to them in order to clarify and/or educate on the differences between the real things and reproductions.

Saturday of this same weekend was Cherry Blossom Festival in DC. Note to self: do NOT go to DC the weekend of the Cherry Blossom Festival events. For us, going a few days before or after the actual weekend would've been best. The place was wall-to-wall people on the weekend of the festival, and traffic was horrendous (more than usual). We had matinee tickets to see the New York City Ballet at the Kennedy Center. And I had a migraine.
2015 DC Cherry Blossom Festival
Some battles are not worth fighting. We blew right through town once we got past the traffic around the Tidal Basin and National Mall areas, and headed home without getting out of the car, without seeing the ballet. The tickets were what Mr. P. refers to as sunk costs (money already spent, can't recover).

The following weekend, we had a family wedding to attend in Casstown, OH (just north of Dayton). We drove up the morning of the wedding, and it was a gorgeous day along Route 35N, through West Virginia and Ohio - farm country!
Traveling Route 35N in WV, OH
These country roads were busy with tractors working the fields, and the smell of ramps wafting in the air. This is also the ramps harvesting time in WV, where cooking with the wild onions is a culinary festival celebration in various locations throughout our "Almost Heaven" state.  The Bob Evans Farms is also along the route we traveled, about halfway to our destination. Rich, river bottom fields are what Route 35 consists of, and it's one farm after another - dairy, grain, and livestock - as you travel through.

I'll be sharing the details of the homemade, barn-style wedding reception we attended in an upcoming post. The decor was really well done, the food fare was terrific, and the backdrop couldn't have been better. The reception lasted from mid-afternoon until late that night in a 100+ year-old barn / farm that's housed three generations of one family. It was a fun, family gathering with seven of my total nine (including myself) siblings and nearly 150 more guests. I hope you'll come back when I share the creative ideas carried out at that reception.

Happy trails to you, until we meet again.  Have you been on the road lately? Country, city, or both?

Thanks for your visit!
Rita C. at Panoply

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