Monday, Nov 24, 2014

McHenry County fairgrounds to play host to flea market

A series of antique flea markets are being planned at the McHenry County Fairgrounds this year, which started with an event the weekend of May 21 and 22. The next market will be the the weekend of June 18 and 19.

Larry Heuvelman, owner and president of Saltbox Productions and resident of Antioch, said he has attended antique markets for the past 28 years. Since developing a passion for antique furniture when he was 19, Heuvelman has been involved in the antique scene as a picker, a refurbisher, a collector and a dealer.

“For me, I hated history in school. It was my worst subject,” Heuvelman said.

It wasn’t until he began collecting older pieces of furniture that he really started to appreciate history. For example, an antique table from the early 1800s — one that predated Abraham Lincoln — could start to put that history into perspective. For six weekends over the next six months, Heuvelman will bring his love of antiques to the fairgrounds, where vendors throughout the Midwest will display and sell their unique finds. Heuvelman already has commitments from vendors in Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin and Indiana to participate in the markets.

Having reputable dealers with a vast base of knowledge will be helpful and educational to the people attending the markets. “We’re really fortunate to have some great, older dealers,” Heuvelman said. Passing down that knowledge to a new generation of dealers and collectors is important, which is something the market can help achieve.

Heuvelman described antique dealers and collectors as passionate, focused individuals. He said usually each person has his or her own specific interest and knowledge base.

“There’s too much to know [to be able to cover all aspects of antiques],” Heuvelman said. “It’s like the law, you have to specialize.”

Heuvelman said he will keep the antique flea market pure, meaning no reproductions, crafts, newly produced imports or the like. He said staying true to the antiques will allow the market to gain a reputation. In addition to the antiques, food vendors will set up shop for hungry market-goers. Heuvelman said hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs, corn, ice cream and pastries are just some of the items that would be sold.

Antique dealers Jim Hohnwald and Bob Jessen, who have schooled and educated Heuvelman about antiques since he first became involved in the scene, are assisting Heuvelman.

The markets are open to the public from noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays. Cost for the public is $5. Children 12 and younger are free.

For information, visit www.saltboxproductions.com.