Published: June 2, 2015
PHILADELPHIA, PENN. — Organizers of the Philadelphia Antiques Show have announced that the fair will return to the city April 14–17, 2016, in a new venue and with new management. The fair, historically one of the antiques industry’s most important, was postponed in 2015 as management grappled with the high costs associated with mounting the show at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, its home in recent years.
The show, shortened to three days, will be mounted in a large, structured tent on the parade grounds at The Navy Yard in Philadelphia. An opening night preview party is planned for Thursday, April 14. The Antiques Dealers Association of America (ADA)’s annual Award of Merit dinner will be held onsite.
Seasoned pros Diana H. Bittel, Karen DiSaia and Ralph DiSaia are the new managers. Their collective management credits include the Newport Antiques Show, the Delaware Antiques Show, the Washington Winter Show, the ADA Historic Deerfield Show, the Connecticut Spring Antiques Show, the Antique Garden Furniture Fair and Antiques in Manchester. Anne Hamilton and Nancy Kneeland are co-chairing the 2016 event, which benefits longtime charity sponsor Penn Medicine.
After conducting a 12-week review of the fair’s operations, organizers settled on formula that reduces production costs, maximizes returns and makes the best use of the committee structure that has long been an asset. Organizers envision a diversified presentation featuring about 60 exhibitors. Karen DiSaia said she expects contracts to go out in roughly three weeks time.
“It took time to get the details right, but the committee is fully on board. We are excited. The committee has asked us to help them design a structure that will work most efficiently for them. That has taken us the last few weeks,” DiSaia said.
“The chairmen are on board in a big way, which is huge. I believe volunteers are crucial. They are what made Philadelphia work for so many years. People are excited and getting back to work,” said Bittel.
The Philadelphia area native said The Navy Yard is the right spot for the show. “We are staking our tent at the Navy Yard, literally and figuratively. Five years from now, it is going to be hard to break in there. The Navy Yard is a hot spot, a fabulous area with more going on all the time.”
The presence of the new Marriott Courtyard Philadelphia South at The Navy Yard is one indication of the area’s growth. It is recommended that those planning to attend the 2016 Philadelphia Antiques Show and its ancillary events book rooms soon.
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