Tis the season to browse the outdoor markets, hauling back collectibles, garden decor and fine linens. The notorious Brimfield Outdoor Antiques Show is taking place this week in Massachusett's Quaboag Valley, from May 12-17. It’s time to clean out the gardens, move around the porch, and brighten up your home. Spring time at Brimfield is your chance to get vintage, retro and shabby chic all in one place. Perhaps the country’s most famous mile-long strip featuring more than 1,000 dealers from all over the country, Brimfield is even one of Martha’s favorite places to shop for spring. Dealers open at 6 a.m. and close at dusk. Show up early [like 5 a.m. early], bring a wheeled cart, reusable shopping totes and strong shoulders! Don't forget antiquing at Brimfield is free, and no one leaves empty-handed. For more info call 413-283-2418 or visit online.
Here are some helpful hints from the Brimfield website:
1. Arrive early to be sure you find parking. While spaces are plentiful, they fill up fast!
2. Bring a tote, backpack or other equipment to carry your new-found treasures. Wagons or carts are often used for hauling.
3. If you plan to meet someone or visit a particular dealer, be sure to note the booth number and the name of the field or show. Show operators maintain lists of dealers, and only they can distribute dealer information.
4. The show goes on rain or shine. Be prepared for a change in the weather. Dress appropriately. Don't forget comfortable shoes!
5. Take time to rest and replenish your liquids, particularly in high heat. A drink of water is, at times, hard to find at the shows. Bring some with you.
6. Brush up on your negotiation skills. Most dealers expect you to bargain.
7. The following may come in handy; calculator, notebook, sunscreen, sun/rain hat, fanny pack, and a plastic poncho.
8. Looking for something in particular? Ask a dealer who carries similar items. Chances are, they'll have great recommendations, or even have what you're looking for still packed in a box at their booth.
9. Lost something? Look for lost items at each show promoter's office. Also, marking your belongings with your phone number can help get the item back to you if it becomes lost.
Dina Rudick/Globe Staff