Published: May 13, 2003
By R. Scudder Smith
YORK, PENN. — The tailgate business is booming in York, all as a result of Jim Burk’s ever-popular Greater York Antiques Show & Sale. Nine years ago Barry Cohen came first with his fall York Tailgate Antiques Show at the Quality Inn, just down the road from the York Fairgrounds. This past weekend he opened a new show, the York County Classic Antiques Show in the Old Main Building on the York Fairgrounds, within an easy walk to Burk’s show in Memorial Hall.
This fall Frank Gaglio enters the picture with another show at the fairgrounds, The Pennsylvania Antiques Show. This now means three shows on the York Fairgrounds with a potential of more than 350 exhibitors. “Looks like we have the makings of an OK Coral,” Ken Kohn of With All Due Ceremony said. Actually, most of the “shooting” is over, a few things still have to be worked out, but each manager seems, at this point, to have his ducks in a row.
So here is how it is all shaped up at this moment.
Jim Burk, who has been running shows at the York Fairgrounds for 33 years, will move his show into the new building presently under construction at the fairgrounds, the York Expo Arena. His dates are October 31 and November 1, two days instead of his usual three, but still with a two-day setup for the exhibitors.
“I plan to add about ten to 15 new dealers, as the space for the show will be larger,” Jim said. He will open his show at his regular time, noon on Friday, and his new floor plan will not call for cross-aisles, but will retain the center aisle look his show once had. He noted, “Since I own my booth walls, I will still be able to keep the rent down for the dealers.”
The new arena will continue to be the site for both of Jim Burk’s Greater York Antiques Show. The spring edition will, most likely, follow the same dates as this year and happen on the Friday and Saturday before Mother’s Day.
Frank Gaglio of Barn Star Productions was at York this past weekend passing out notices of his new show, The Pennsylvania Antiques Show. The announcement noted that the event was “in co-operation with Jim Burk antiques shows” and would result in “two great shows under one roof.” Frank said, “I am just here to let people know of my plans for another show in York and I am not here to solicit any of Jim’s dealers for my show.” He mentioned he will be sending out contracts to some dealers who have already heard about the new show, as well as to some of the dealers who do his other events. At present Frank runs seven shows, including two during Antiques Week in New Hampshire, one in Philadelphia, Antiques in a Cow Pasture, the new show in Woodbury, Conn., in June, and the two planned for York.
“I am looking to have as many dealers in my show as Jim has, and I will be opening my show three hours before Greater York, at 9 am,” Frank Gaglio said. He also indicated he will be contacting some of the top dealers in the field of Americana, encouraging them to come to York with him.
At the early stages, there was to be one ticket to include both shows. “The people from the Y’s Men’s Club of the local YMCA, tickets sellers and beneficiaries of my show, did not want the responsibility of both shows,” Jim Burk said, resulting in the decision to have separate admissions. “I think it will work best this way and I am just going to continue on the way I have for the past 33 years,” he said.
Barry Cohen, who opened up his new County Classic Show on May 9-10 to favorable reports from both exhibitors and visitors, will move from the Old Main Building on the fairgrounds to Memorial Hall where Jim Burk has been for all these years. Barry made it official to his exhibitors for the first time when he announced his schedule over the address system prior to the start of his show.
“This show will be moving to Memorial Hall in the fall, and will also be there again in the spring,” he said. A number of his dealers have expressed delight with the move, saying that dealing out of a hotel room is not that advantageous to business. As of last Friday he had not set the time of his opening as he was not sure of the schedule of the other two shows. He was not available for comment at press time.
“Let us hope concentration works as well in York as it does in New Hampshire, Brimfield, Nashville and New York City,” one exhibitor stated. All of these locations, with grouping of shows, have proved successful and drawn a large audience.
There was some talk of there being a fourth show added to the schedule, an event under the management of Robert Goodrich of Goodrich & Co Promotions. Apparently there is no available space in any of the fairground buildings at the same time period, and Goodrich & Co. already has a show planned for November 21-23. That event is The York Folk Art & Craft Show and Antiques Show, with 50 dealers. A call to the Goodrich office on May 12 confirmed there will not be a fourth this fall.
John Philbrick, who was exhibiting at Jim Burk’s show, likened the situation to the end of Little Black Sambo when the tigers ran around the tree and ended up as a pool of butter. “If the managers iron things out and eventually turn out some fine butter, we will all benefit from this trio of shows,” he said.
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