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Round Top Antiques Show Q&A

The following Round Top Antiques Show Q&A covers some – but certainly – not all of the feedback received during the twice-a-year newsletter readership survey. There were comments that are non-antiques show related as well that are also covered here.

Is Round Top open year round?

We all get this question a lot. Short answer is YES! Since the antiques show, which began in 1968 in Round Top, has Round Top in the name, some erroneously believe it is just open twice-a-year. In fact, this community of 90 people has shops, restaurants and businesses open year-round. As do Carmine, Fayetteville, Burton, etc. Because they are tiny towns, many retail businesses are open Wednesday or Thursday through Sunday. Restaurants, as is typical of rural Texas, may take Mondays off – and even Sundays. Refer to the year-round business maps for a list of those businesses in Round Top and Carmine that are open year-round.

Since it’s so hot in late September, why don’t you move the dates?

Tradition reigns for the Round Top Antiques Show, which was originally held the first full weekend of October in 1968.  Over time the show has “backed up” beginning in mid-September and running through the first weekend of October. With an estimated 4,000 dealers, many of whom come from one show to set up and then tear down for another show, the Round Top show dates stay consistent. It was very hot for this show — and for the first time in memory there were no rain days or brief respites. For those of us who’ve been attending for years, we know to prepare for all kinds of weather and temperatures. And master the “Round Top hug” where you get close, but there is no contact upon greeting a fellow shopper!

Why don’t you put the antiques show dates in every newsletter? What are the antiques show dates? When do the fields in Warrenton open? Please clarify the actual dates.

Great idea and thanks for the reminder. Here’s a link to the most recent schedule.

Why don’t you identify which venues have which products? E.g. antiques, vintage, repro, new, imports, etc. Why don’t show the price points of each venue? Why don’t you have a list of all vendors/dealers?

This is a tough one since many venues have many options. Our best bet is to refer to a venue or dealer’s ad in the Round Top Antiques Show Guide to see what they advertise. Not all venues advertise, of course…but the majority of the larger shows do. As far as prices, most venues have items from a dollar to many thousands of dollars – and sometimes a single vendor has a wide variety as well. Do your homework before coming…and ask people where they shop. Vendors are a great resource – and if they don’t have what you are looking for, there’s a real chance they know someone who does.

To aid in helping shoppers better target their shopping, the Treasure Hunter’s Guide in the Round Top Antiques Show Guide includes various categories and the advertiser vendors who offer those items. See the one from the Fall 2019 Round Top Antiques Show on this page.

As far as a list of all vendors/dealers, we’re game if someone wants to figure out how to do that!

Why don’t you talk about more vendors and dealers in the newsletter and the antiques show guide? Why do you seem to only talk about vendors and dealers who advertise with you?

By our estimation there are upwards of 4,000 dealers at each show. Thus, there is no way to write about each of them. Advertisers in the Round Top Antiques Show Guide are and will continue to be highlighted in lists, maps, photos and articles.

Why don’t you use more pictures in your newsletters? Or video?

We like newsletters that are short and to the point and have found that photos and videos can delay the download time of the email. Thus, for photos and videos, see our Instagram and Facebook pages… especially when the shows are going on.

Why don’t you give newcomer tips?

That’s a good recommendation. We have tips online – and try to always add to them … but knowing how overwhelming the show is, a first-timer’s guide is a great idea. Stay tuned.

Why don’t you do a more timely, one-time list of who, what, when, where, etc.

Okay. This makes me laugh! In 2015, we thought we could do a four-page map of the show with all of the dates, locations, parking, food, etc. It was a hit; then it became eight pages, then 16, then 92…and this last season saw a 164-page book with all of the info we could gather… and still the info about special events and dates kept coming in. A couple of years ago we decided to do a schedule of all events by day… (Text SCHEDULE to 33777 to get a daily schedule emailed to you.)  The answer: I’m trying!

Why don’t you highlight more local happenings in the newsletter? Why don’t you feature real Round Top people?

The first Monday of each month is when we highlight things going on in the area. It’s by no means a complete list – just a few ideas for people to be aware of – and make plans to attend. We have a Things to Do page on the website that provides links to the area chambers of commerce if people need additional resources. We follow @exploreroundtop on Instagram – which is the Round Top Area Chamber of Commerce’s promo arm for all things Round Top. We also follow @visitbrenham and subscribe to the Fayette County Tourism’s email as well as the La Grange Main Street & Visitors Bureau. The Bellville Chamber of Commerce and the Schulenburg Chamber of Commerce are also good resources. As far as “real” Round Top people… don’t think we’ve had aliens or fictitious people yet. LOL.

Why don’t you offer DIY tips?

Oh dear. Better refer to the people who know how to DIY. I can barely spell it.

Why don’t you give a weather forecast in your newsletters?

For the daily e-newsletters that go out during the show, we try to get those done ahead of time. Thus, the weather forecast might change from day to day. And frankly, with the number of weather apps available, we’d only be repeating “gossip.” It might sprinkle in Round Top and be sunny and 85 degrees F in Carmine up the road… So we’ll talk about food or something more likely to happen. That said, it’s never a bad idea to have rain boots, an umbrella and a jacket when you head out. Or a hand-held fan, wet towel and a bucket of ice…

Why don’t you include a map?

Maps are a critical component of the Round Top Antiques Show Guide. The centerspread shows the entire corridor, while the various “sections” that cover the Carmine, Round Top, Warrenton, Fayetteville and Burton areas are further defined. We’re loving the individual field and venue maps – and the permanent business maps for Round Top and Carmine. Thus, we are all about maps. As far as an online map – working on that currently… that will be helpful to readers.Round Top Antiques Show Q&A Corridor Map

How do we know where to eat during the show?

Eating is very, very important. We have food tips in the Round Top Antiques Show Guide such as eat early, make reservations for dinner at the local restaurants, and be patient. As far as food spots in the various shows, some know their food vendors from show-to-show; others have a rotating variety. Best tip is to ask people where they like to eat. The biggest change over the past five years is the variety and quality of food in the fields…Don’t miss out.

Why aren’t there more places to sit and rest?

Good question. Will pass that along to show promoters. My fave resting places are at The Compound, the big oaks at the back of The Arbors, the tables at Market Hill, and inside Henkel Hall.

How do I know which venues have dedicated handicapped parking?

Also a good recommendation. We’ll add that to the list of questions to ask – and figure out how to denote that within the show guide.

How do I ship something home?

There are shippers available throughout the show. Best bet is to ask the dealer who they recommend.

Why aren’t there more bathrooms and hand-washing facilities?

Like the variety of food, the number of restroom facilities have improved over the past few years. Just know that a visit to the show means port-a-potties. Some are climate-controlled, with hand-washing facilities…and some are just regular. The larger indoor/permanent venues have regular facilities…so think about that when you are planning your trip. And remember, in many of the fields of Warrenton, you are standing in a cow pasture …

Why aren’t there better signs?

When I first started coming to the antiques show, I had no idea the fields and venues had their own names… so when we did the map the first time, we listed them by field or venue name. It can be especially difficult to know where you are in the Warrenton area because those venues run together. Always ask… As far as signage, it’s a needed improvement in some areas.

Why aren’t the venues organized by type? E.g. put all the industrial stuff together and all of the primitives together.

A little history: the show has evolved from a single location with 50-60 dealers to one with 80-plus venues and upwards of 4,000 dealers… The folks who run each show (and they are all individually owned and operated) seek to find dealers that fit their “style” and generally offer shoppers a variety of options under one roof, or tent or within a barn or dancehall. Some venues are known for have true antiques, while others have a mixture of antiques and vintages – others will have reproductions, refurbished or imports… Watch Instagram for what people are buying where… And if you don’t see what you’re looking for, ask a dealer.

How do I know when to come to the antiques show?

Good question with at least 20 different answers. The best tip is to look at the show schedule to see who is open when and base your visit/trip on that. If you want to be there when every venue is open, then come the last week. It will be the busiest and the most difficult to find local lodging, but you will be able to experience the whole deal. Some people swear to coming early before the crowds, even though every venue might not be open. Others choose a weekday(s) to avoid weekend crowds.

Where can I find a Cattleman’s Map? They ran out at J.W.’s.

I asked Jeff and he said he had more. Just ask.

Can you get a Round Top Antiques Show Guide before the show?

Yes. We now offer subscriptions just for the show guide – a single copy is $10; and a year’s subscription is $15. These are mailed in time (unless the U.S. Postal Service interferes) for subscribers to receive before they head to the show.

How can I avoid traffic? Why isn’t there a shuttle bus?

Traffic congestion has improved over the past few years as the show has spread out. That’s not to say you won’t get caught in a snag or two, especially on weekends and during the last week. Please remember that 237 is a two-lane road, that for much of the year serves the citizens who live in the area. For example, a traffic jam in May is likely due to a tractor being moved from one field to another. That said, there are ways to plan around traffic – just like you plan for Houston rush hour or leaving an Aggie football game. Go early. Go late. Shop one side of the road then turn around and shop the other to avoid crossing traffic. Shuttle buses have been discussed, but on high-traffic days they would end up adding another car to line…and people like being able to put their finds in their cars/trucks as they go. It’s difficult to get an antique armoire on a shuttle bus. Traffic apps do a good job helping you see where there are backups/snarls. Just be patient, roll down the windows, and take turns.

What address do I use to put into GPS to get to the show?

This is a hard one to answer. If you put in Round Top, Texas into GPS, it will take you to the red light… and no matter which direction you’ve come from, you will have passed lots of good shopping. So, if you know a specific venue you want to visit, use that address. Warrenton venues, though in the “Warrenton” area, have Round Top street addresses. Venues north of Round Top may have Carmine addresses. Only the postal service knows for sure. Best bet is to use the center map of the antiques show corridor to plan your trip and stops.

Is there a difference between the spring and fall shows?

Not really. Generally the same venues are open each edition. There will be some dealers/vendors who do one or the other due to other shows they may be involved in. Too, some vendors/dealers move from one location to another – or decide to open multiple locations across the show. There are more wildflowers in spring.

How easy is it to find lodging?

There is no doubt that savvy shoppers plan six months to a year in advance and book their fave places. Thus, some lodging businesses may be booked up – especially for the last week. That said, there are many options – from chain hotels/motels in the area’s larger cities, to cottages, rooms, RV parks, teepees, glampers, recycled shipping containers, etc. Just plan early. Know that the shows are the “high season.”

How long will it take me to see every venue?

Goodness. Who knows? The show covers about 25 miles. 80-plus venues. 4,000-plus dealers. We’ve heard of people visiting every venue over a two-day period, but not sure we can believe that. They certainly must’ve hopped out of their car and then jumped back in. If you plan your attack and know which venues you want to see, then you can probably get to most in three days… but if you are shopping hard and want to see it all, it will take a good five days. Lots of walking; lots of getting in your car, driving, parking, walking and repeating that again. I took two friends a couple of shows ago. When we got to one venue, one friend took 45 minutes to visit two stalls; the other friend circled the field in 15 minutes. So it also depends on who you shop with.

Did we not answer your question? Submit new questions to [email protected]

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