By Tara Mae
The Antiques and Garden Weekend show, a fundraiser for the Port Jefferson Historical Society, returns after a two-year COVID delay to the Port Jefferson Village Center, 101-A East Broadway, Port Jefferson on Saturday, April 30, and Sunday, May 1, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Transformed into an organized maze of goods and greenery, all three floors of the Village Center will be utilized to host approximately 25 vendors from across Long Island as well as a café. In conjunction with the society, the Suwassett Garden Club of Belle Terre will host a bake sale and provide a verdant trellis of plants, flowers, annuals, and herbs.
Many of the vendors are annual participants who set up shop to sell their wares, including but not limited to rare books, linens, vintage handbags, prints, garden tools and “every kind of jewelry, from costume through the real McCoy,” according to event co-chair Catherine Quinlan.
New vendors are recruited by word of mouth. “Dealers recommended other dealers for the show; a lot of them helped me find vendors for this show. They want the show to maintain its quality,” Quinlan said. Buyers and sellers alike are drawn to the show’s unique setup. Situated along the water, with views that overlook the harbor, the Village Center offers a singular experience for both vendors and attendees alike. “Vendors are able to set up their stands so that the scenic views are their backdrop, which both they and the patrons enjoy. I want people to come and enjoy the lovely setting — the building on the water is so beautiful,” added Quinlan.
Quinlan and fellow co-chair Sandra Swenk, both members of the Port Jefferson Historical Society, connected 14 years ago to raise money for the upkeep of the Mather House Museum, the society’s historic property on Prospect Street.
“Year round maintenance of the Mather estate is a costly undertaking so this show as well as a fall auction are key functions that enable the Society to maintain the buildings and grounds, keep the Museum open for exhibits, and offer tours as well as a consignment shop that is open during the Museum season which begins Memorial Day weekend,” said Swenk.
The women drew inspiration from touring other antique and garden shows on Long Island and observing their practices. “We visited shows scheduled on Long Island and made contacts with vendors who presented a variety of interesting antiques and collectibles that would be appealing to visitors and buyers. We arranged with the Village to hold the show at the Village Center each April,” Swenk said.
Truly a community event, in addition to the support of the garden club and village, the Bridgeport and Port Jefferson Steamboat Company has special rates for ferry riders traveling to the show. “Fred Hall, general manager of the ferry, hangs a banner in Bridgeport to advertise the show and offers discounts to people who are coming for the show: 2 for 1 deals for same day passengers. Mayor Margot Garant is very supportive. I like working with everyone from the village,” she said. “The event is a lot of work, but a lot of fun. It’s about the community coming together and helping us raise money.”
Tickets are $6 per person, $5 if a member of a party presents the event postcard or online ad. Children 16 years or younger, accompanied by an adult, are free of charge. For more information, or visit www.portjeff-antiques-garden.net.