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Treasure hunt: Silverton’s July 4th antique street fair expands its offerings

By Kathy Cook Hunter

A favorite summer event of collectors from miles around is about to be improved.

Old Stuff on Main Street, an annual Fourth of July antiques-and-collectibles street fair in Silverton, is expanding this year, taking in more streets, more vendors, and, by golly, adding live music, too.

In the fair’s ninth year its sole remaining originator, Donna Snyder of Red Bench, is pleased with its continued success.

“We wanted it for the whole downtown, not just my store,” Snyder recalled. Other antiques store owners have come and gone since the event’s beginning, she said.

Her business associate, Brett Haring, said one of America’s major summer holidays usually made for dead, deserted streets in downtown Silverton.

“They created an event that brought people downtown when ordinarily no one was in town,” Haring said. “This also encourages merchants to stay open on a day they’re usually closed.”

Food purveyors and restaurants that stay open have found it lucrative for a holiday, he said.

Old Stuff on Main Street now covers two blocks of East Main Street, a block of North Water Street and on up High Street and includes all the downtown antiques stores: Red Bench, Mayberry’s, North Star and The Mercantile – “the antiques district,” as Snyder calls it.

A festive atmosphere during fair hours from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. will prevail. The Molalla Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter will have lined the street with American flags, and red, white and blue balloons will highlight the fair area.

Vendors from Silverton’s downtown will include A & I Jewelers, Café Earth at the Green Store, and Mac’s, perfuming the air with food barbecued on the street. Musicians will perform in front of the Red Bench.

Free parking due to the holiday will be marked and available surrounding the downtown core.

Largely country-style merchandise ranges from collectibles of all types, such as linens and textiles, kitchen and yard items, “shabby chic” furniture and men’s favorites — tools and fishing equipment.

“The major market is families, not the upper-class,” Snyder said. “Formal is ‘out’ at my store.” She expects about 25 street vendors to participate this year.

With fireworks and music at The Oregon Garden the night of July 3 and Mount Angel’s evening fireworks display on July 4, “(Old Stuff) makes a nice filler for the day,” Haring said.

“I know people come down here, spend an hour or two, and go back to their family gathering,” Snyder said.

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