Antiquers, rejoice — the Kansas Barn Sale is coming to town.
The one-day antique and art sale has gained popularity over the years and annually draws in 5,000 to 7,000 people, who shop from around 130 different vendors. Beki Hastings, owner and coordinator of the event, said they have outgrown their old space, located between Hesston and Gossel. The need for a bigger space resulted in the decision to come to McPherson.
"We have been in the same place since 2010 and we explored a lot of different venues and opportunities, and McPherson just seemed like a good fit," Hastings noted. "There were a lot of logistics reasons for us to move here. One was that they (McPherson) are able to host the number of cars and sustain the number of shoppers. It's a great town, a great community, the layout is nice, and it's just a good fit."
Hastings created the barn sale due to the lack of antique and art shows in the state of Kansas.
"There was not an art and antique shows in the state in 2010. There were craft shows held by a lot of churches and the Hillsboro Arts and Crafts show, but there weren't any art and antique shows. I wanted to combine those two," Hastings added.
Hastings wasn't the only one to see the need for art and antique shows in the state; the McPherson Convention and Visitors Bureau also saw a need for a new festival to be held in McPherson.
"They actually contacted us and asked us if we'd be interested in hosting that. Of course we said sure. We're excited because it'll bring in so many people," said Joni Regnier, director of the CVB.
McPherson has seen major shifts in annual festivals, so the Kansas Barn Sale will add to the lineup of activities this year.
"Since we no longer have the Scottish Festival the barn sale isn't really a replacement, but is just a great fall event for McPherson," Regnier noted.
The event will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 6 at Lakeside Park in McPherson. There is a $5 entry fee and children 12 and under are free.
Oct. 6 is also the same day as McPherson Main Street’ Burnin' Down Main Chili Cook Off event.
"We feel like there will be tons of things to do that day, all in one day. It'll help the restaurants and downtown businesses as well," Regnier said.
To prepare for the large gathering, the CVB is working with the McPherson Parks Department to implement parking lot facilities, electricity for the day and shuttles to take residents to their vehicles.
As Hastings wasn't an antique junkie herself before beginning the barn sale, she saw the upward trend in the rural, farm life decorations.
"Funny enough, I've never been a big antiquer. I could just see the trend, I could see a need for it. Also during 2010, there was something happening that was called rustic revival. It was this revival between farm, rural rustic ideas and even with barn weddings. All that primitive items and rustic rusty junk, it was becoming vogue and popular again. I just thought we needed an event like that in the state," Hastings said.
Hastings and her team spends about eight to nine months planning, coordinating and figuring the logistics of the event before it even happens.
"I think in the past we've hired about 22 people for one day just to help with parking, traffic control, gate security, undercover officers — there's a lot that goes into it," Hastings noted.
As antique lovers flock to the show, so do vendors from across the U.S.
"We try to choose the best of the best. There are vendors that come from Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, and even Pennsylvania. But they are more than happy to come, it's worth it to them — we get told repeatedly that this is their best show of the year," Hastings noted.
For more information, call the CVB at 620-241-3340 or visit their website at http://visitmcpherson.com. Or email Kansas Barn Sale at email@example.com or message them on their Facebook page.
Contact Brooke Haas by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @ MacSentinel.