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It's (antique) Showtime!
Larned Chamber preps for 51st annual collectibles event
Kristin Keith
Kristin Keith, Larned, right, looks over a 1910 antique metal advertising plate with a potential customer at a past Larned Chamber Antique Show. A participating vendor for 20 years, Keith is in her third year as chairperson for the local committee responsible for putting on the event. - photo by Michael Gilmore

LARNED — What is old is new again for the 51st annual Larned Chamber of Commerce Antique, Vintage & Collectible Show in February.

The show returns February 11-13 with 15 vendors, both old and new, with wares that include furniture, sterling silver, home decor, photographs, magazines, costumes, jewelry, pins, coins and toys from days gone by.

The Antique Show Committee is charged with everything about the show, including contacting and recruiting vendors, setup, takedown and providing tasty meals for everyone in attendance over the traditional three-day event. Tom Seltmann, who for decades headed the committee and served as go-to person for the event, passed away in 2019, but not before handing down the Victorian Art Glass to Kristin Keith, now in her third year as chairman. “I’ve been a dealer at the show for around 20 years and we’d always looked to Tom to get something done,” Keith said. “He handled everything.

“Since his passing, it is really the committee that has taken over; the whole group contributes a lot of time and effort.”

Keith noted that each veteran vendor at the show is knowledgeable about their various specialties of collectibles. Buyers are free to ask questions about collectibles at the show, or an item they have in their personal collection they want to more about. 

The pandemic forced cancellation of last year’s show, so the committee has been hard at work over the past year making contacts old and new and making sure the event comes off without a hitch.

Thursday evening, committee members met at the Larned Chamber of Commerce office to look over final preparations that included finding a catering replacement for retired Faye Grandy, who had served as the event’s longtime caterer.

A number of vendors have set up their booths for many years at the Larned event. While attendance is always a draw, some longtimers have said they return for the friendly atmosphere at the show, and the food at the Dealers’ Dinner the Thursday before, prepared by members of the committee.

New faces join veteran vendors

This year’s show will have some new faces. One new face has attended the show for years, but will be having her own booth for the first time this year.

Carol Jenkner, Great Bend, moved to the Golden Belt in 1992, but left for Dodge City in 2002. While in Dodge, she taught at an alternative education center and later taught consumer science at United Methodist Youthville. She spent her last three years of teaching at Dodge City Middle School.

Retiring at the end of 2018, she returned to Great Bend and is employed part-time as the education director for the Santa Fe Trail Center Museum in rural Larned.

She is currently in the midst of editing a four-volume crime novel series she has written, with the first, “Road Kill,” released by Archway Publishing last October. The remaining three books are finished, but are in the editing process.

As to antiques, she has always been drawn to 19th-century primitives, she said. While living in northeast Oklahoma, she would add to her collection, then do a show or two to regain living space in her home. Jenkner’s favorite category is textiles, such as samplers and quilts from the Victorian era. She also has baskets and 19th-century pottery, with other Victorian articles including step stools, dishes and glassware stored away.

“I’m not a professional dealer, but I have done a couple shows,” she said. “I’ve been a buyer for a long time. If you are a collector, that is a way to get your first foot in the door, for a look at what the other dealers have to offer.”

Hours for the show are Friday, Feb. 11, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Larned Community Center, 1500 Toles Ave. Admission is $2 per person, with children 10 and under admitted free. A $5 weekend pass for all three days is available. Food concessions, with attention to COVID-19 social distancing restrictions, will be available as well.

15 vendors

Vendors planning to attend this year’s show include:

• Art Acquisitions, Warren Shaul, Dodge City

• Carol Jenkner, primitives, Great Bend

• Creative Connections, Laura Biles, Russell

• D&A Antiques, Dave and Alice Rush, Ellinwood

• Joe Dolton Antiques, Luray

• Hands of Time, Joel Cox, Fort Collins, Colo.

• Junk & Jewels, Heather Josefiak, Rozel 

• Mel Enloe, Pawnee Rock   

• Miscellany Antiques, Lana and Neal Fisk, Russell

• Neal and Deanne Stanley, Dighton

• Necessities, Maria and Henry Blickhahn, Hutchinson

• Padron Memories, Will and Blanche Padron, Larned

• The Primitive Look, Joel and Jewel Davis, Larned

• Traditions by J&M, Jan Slagle, Marilyn Milhon, Topeka, Wichita

• Twyla Kay’s Antiques and Home Decor, Kristin Keith, Larned