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Short hops

Americana never gets old for Tolland, Conn.

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January 21, 2007

TOLLAND, Conn. -- Some 65 exhibitors will offer 18th- and 19th-century American furniture, accessories, textiles, folk art, and iron ware at the 41st annual Tolland Antiques Show next Sunday. The event will be held at the old Tolland High School from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with an "early buyers' gate" opening at 8:30 a.m.

The show is the main fund-raiser for the Tolland Historical Society, which operates three museums in town and several programs in the schools. The society has worked hard over the last two decades to improve the show by ensuring that only knowledgeable dealers offering high-quality items participate, said Kathy Bach, show director. Most of the exhibitors come back year after year, and there is a long waiting list for exhibit space, she said.

While most dealers are open to negotiating on prices, the true "bargain," Bach said, is that people can be sure the items they buy are of high quality.

But you don't need to be a serious collector or even a buyer to enjoy the event. "For a lot of people, coming to the show is like a museum day out," she said. "They can see what's available, and the dealers act as educators."

Coffee and doughnuts will be available to early buyers, and lunch of soups, sandwiches, and homemade desserts will be offered in the school's cafeteria.

Tolland Antiques Show, Jan. 28, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (early gate 8:30-10), old Tolland High School, Old Cathole Road. 860-870-9599. Admission $5, $15 for early gate. Tolland is about 80 miles or about 90 minutes from Boston. Take Interstate 90 (Massachusetts Turnpike) west to I-84 west. Take exit 68 and turn right onto Route 195. (From here look for signs.) At the first light, turn right onto Old Post Road. At the stop sign, bear right on Tolland Stage Road, then take the second right onto Old Cathole Road. The old high school is on the right. Free parking.

ELLEN ALBANESE

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