Find treasures at the Antique Street Faire

By From page B1 | September 23, 2013


BEV FRAGA, owner of Placerville Antiques at 448 Main Street in Placerville holds a picture of Elvis Friday August 30 in her antique store in Placerville. Democrat photo by Pat Dollins

What: 25th Antique Street Faire

Who: Placerville Downtown Association

Where: Main Street in Placerville

When: Sunday, Sept. 29 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Cost: No admission

Information: 530-672-3436

On any given weekend, it’s not hard to spot tourists on Main Street in downtown Placerville: They’re the ones with their necks craned to check out the dummy that dangles from a hangman’s noose near the Center Street entrance to the parking garage.

They’re also the ones winding in and out of the nine antique dealers on Main Street, big smiles on their faces at finding a bargain piece of furniture or precious keepsake.

But it’s the locals who know the real prize when it comes to taking advantage of the bounty of the Gold Rush town’s historical heritage — that’s why for almost a quarter of a century they’ve headed to Main Street in Placerville to grab on to great finds during the Antique Street Faire.

This year’s event, the 25th, will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 29, in downtown Placerville, with the street blocked off to accommodate the vivacious vendors and savvy shoppers.

Chances are, after 25 years, local antique lovers will be joined by treasure seekers from far and wide at this popular event, which is free of charge and offers free parking for attendees.

Welcoming the throngs of happy antique shoppers will be the mainstays of Main Street, the nine antique stores that on any given day are stuffed full of furniture, jewelry, clothing, records, posters, dishes … all variety of antiques sure to find a fan.

Other Main Street businesses also look forward to the annual event, which features plenty of food and refreshment.

The 25th Annual Antique Street Faire is sponsored by the Placerville Downtown Association.

Bev Fraga, owner of Placerville Antiques, is a member of the board of the PDA and has been watching the Antique Street Faire evolve since its inception 24 years ago.

Coincidentally, she has co-owned the antique collective store at 448 Main St., a collective of 10 floor dealers and eight showcase tenants, for 24 years, and became its sole owner at the beginning of this year, buying out longtime partner Connie Fulton in January.

Asked why the Antique Street Faire has enjoyed such burgeoning popularity over the years, Fraga proffered her theory: “Placerville is right at the intersection of Highway 50 and Highway 49, very important thoroughfares during (Gold Rush) history. It’s a wonderful corner where history meets, and if you travel down Highway 49, we’re right in the heart of ‘antiques country,’ between Sutter Creek in Amador County and Auburn in Placer County.”

Fraga added that the Antique Street Faire provides an incomparable opportunity to see a wide variety of antiques and meet hundreds of dealers and vendors, all in a convenient location.

Fraga understands the hold that quality antiques have on those who appreciate beauty that lasts and even improves over time, having grown up around the antiques business.

She has lived in El Dorado County since she was a young girl and her parents once owned a second-hand and antiques store in Diamond Springs called Fraga’s Antiques.

Bev and her mom, LaVonne, would refinish some of the pieces, and Bev found herself drawn to the historical significance and sheer artistry of the finer pieces.

That’s perhaps why she said one of the acquisitions of which she is most proud in her own shop today is an 1860s circa large, wooden table of walnut burl from England that actually tilts so it can be moved.

“You usually don’t find that feature in a table that large,” she explained. “It’s most unusual.”

If you are not moved by large tables, Bev Fraga’s store has a wealth of other pleasing temptations, not to be missed by tourists and locals alike.

Having participated in the annual Antique Street Faire for more than two decades, Fraga is confident about promising all a good time on Sept. 29.

“You’ll find a really great selection of really great antiques,” she said. “Plus the event is a real boost to the local shops and businesses, so we all win.”

Asked whether the nine antique dealers that hang their shingle on Main Street seems a bit excessive, Fraga said not at all, explaining that the buying public is better served by a wider variety of offerings.

“The more, the better,” she said.

For more information call 530-672-3436.

Pat Lakey

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