Trash or Treasure: Spring brings antiques season

Khristi Zimmeth
Special to The Detroit News


If antique shows are up and running, can warm spring weather be far behind?

Online shopping may have changed the business forever, but there’s still nothing like a good old-fashioned antique show to get the motor running.

Luckily for cabin fever sufferers, spring ushers in the beginning of the indoor and outdoor event season. And if the antique shows have started, can the outdoor flea markets be far behind? Here are a few of the larger markets on the horizon in March, April and May. Mark your calendars!

March 30. Promise of Spring. Ithaca. Now in its 29th year, the one-time Breckenridge-based annual event has moved to Ithaca. What hasn’t changed is its focus on quality collectibles, with 48 dealers in country, primitives, farmhouse, and home and garden meeting at the 10,000 square-foot PINS Tavern and Event Center for the 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. event. Charlene Byers Sherman, who owns the show with her husband, is excited about new dealers including Sandra Nolan and Jacki Frelitz as well as long-time regulars both from within and outside Michigan. “Sharon Reeder and her daughter Shelly from Saginaw are probably the dealer we are most asked about,” Sherman says. “She deals in primitive smalls… but every dealer in the show has their fans and followers.” Admission is $5; under 12 are free. 517-526-2144.

April 20: Ann Arbor Antiques Market, Ann Arbor. Fans line up before the 8 a.m. start for this long-time event, which has been held at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds since 1968. “Quality antiques, jewelry, paintings, mid-century, industrial design, vintage, folk art, repurposed and more…we have it all,” reads their Facebook page. Owner Liz Miller bought the show in 2014 and says that “it’s been a lot of fun adding industrial and modernism,” to the mix, and that doing so has brought in younger enthusiasts. Other 2019 dates are May 18, 19, and Oct. 19 and 20th. Hours at 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sat. and 10 to 4 Sun. Admission is $6.

April 27-28: “Depression and Elegant Glass Show and Sale, Madison Heights. Fenton, Fire King, Fostoria… it’s all here. One of the largest Depression Glass Shows in the Midwest since 1974 according to their website, the show is in its 45th year features American-made Depression and elegant glass plus other collectible and antique American made glass and china and features dealers from Michigan and several other states. $6; 10-5 Sat. and 11-4 Sun.

April 28: Allegan Antiques Market, Allegan.  “Recent trends in the home design field have made the show a hot spot for architectural, industrial, primitive, country, shabby chic, refurbished, repurposed and every kind of antique or collectible decorator items,” reads the show’s website and few collectors would debate that. Always the last Sunday of the month, April through September, it features 400 dealers both inside and out from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

May 3-5: Michigan Antique Festival, Davisburg. A sister show to the event of the same name held in Midland (which starts in June), this popular show and sale has it all – five barns and countless tents filled with vintage goods, a classic car auction, craft beer, and special themed areas including shabby experience and industrial way. Held at Springfield Oaks County Park, you can even indulge in early bird shopping on Friday for $15, which gets you first dibs and a weekend pass. Hours are Fri. 10-5, Sat. 8-6 and Sun. 9-4. $6.  

May 11-12: Utica Antiques Market, Shelby Township. Billed as the “largest outdoor all-antiques market of its kind in Southeast Michigan,” according to their website, this show began in 1986 and happens three times a year at the K of C Fairgrounds. More than 100 dealers set up under tents with a wide array of vintage goods in May, July and September. $ 5.

Do you have an object you would like to know more about? Send a photo and description that includes how you acquired the object to: The Detroit News, Trash or Treasure?, 160 W. Fort St., Detroit, MI 48226. Include your name and daytime telephone number. You may also send your photo and description to If chosen you’ll need to bring the items to an appraisal session. Letters are edited for style and clarity. Photos cannot be returned.