Monday, February 13, 2012

Remembering the Lakewood Antiques Show at Lakewood Fairgrounds in Atlanta

I always loved the Lakewood Fairgrounds in Atlanta.  When I was very little, it was the home of the big Southeastern Fair.  The movie Smokey and the Bandit was filmed, in part, there.  (And I was an extra in this movie as a teenager!)  Eventually, Lakewood became the home for the most amazing monthly antique show, familiarly called just "Lakewood" by Atlantans.

Lakewood was more than an antiques show;  it was an event.  I went with friends, ran into other friends, sometimes tailgating so we could spend the whole day there.  The show ran once a month over the weekend, and sometimes we went twice over the same weekend.

I grew up in a family that went antiquing for fun.  At Lakewood I developed an even greater love of antiques and all things vintage.  I started selling vintage books and ephemera because I was so captivated by these things at Lakewood.

This great antiques event closed in 2006, and I still miss it!   I wanted to share a few photos with you that my friend Dave took the weekend of the final fair.  By the way, Dave has an amazing vintage New Orleans photo collection at flickr, and you'll find it here:  imperturbe at flickr.

These photos show the beautiful Spanish style buildings.  These buildings were originally livestock exhibition stalls at the old Southeastern Fair.   Lakewood Fairgrounds was built in 1916.   At the monthly antiques show, the buildings held antique booths, but there were many more booths outdoors on the grounds as well.



Another view of an exhibition hall exterior:


One of my favorite things about Lakewood - Mini Donuts!  (Oh, I am craving them right now!)


Crowds - LOTS of people!


Inside an exhibition hall.  I always loved the variety of booths!


The feeling of anticipation, wondering what treasure awaited next ...


Love the retro signage!


One of my favorite things about Lakewood was dog watching!


Another view inside an exhibition hall.  We had favorite halls, where regular sellers sold, and always allowed extra time at their booths.  My favorite booth (not pictured in these photos) was owned by two older women from the North Georgia mountains.  They sold nothing but vintage children's books and retro toys - all baby boomer vintage.   Their prices were reasonable, and they were very knowledgeable about the books.  I always enjoyed talking with them!


One of my favorite things -- stamped linens and retro kitchenware!


Oooh!!   So cute - love this cheery yellow kitchenware.



And even better, in my kitchen colors - red and white.


Another personal favorite - vintage holiday decorations!  Halloween and Christmas here.  LOVE the aluminum Christmas trees!


Shiny Brites!   My heart skips a beat just seeing this amazing collection.


Mid-Century Modern furniture and lamps:


Anyone remember Gurley candles?  I have loved these since the days of Woolworth dimestore browsing:


Beautiful Napco Christmas figurines.  The Christmas Dachshund is designed to hold holiday treats - so cute!


The little outdoor Food Court:


And we are leaving Lakewood - for the last time.


The thing I loved most about Lakewood was the thrill of the hunt, the amazing treasure that was waiting around the next corner, the bargain, the unique.  This sometimes led to buying unusual vintage items, then getting them home and realizing they weren't something I really wanted to collect.  Post-Lakewood, I do almost all my vintage shopping on  eBay.  The big plus of shopping online is that you can be very focused -- looking for vintage Dachshund postcards or vintage Mermaid decals or "veggie head" salt and pepper shakers.  I sell on eBay, and I love this vintage focus on children's books, cookbooks, and ephemera/cards in my store:  Birdhouse Books on eBay - vintage children's books, cookbooks, and ephemera (Valentines, Christmas, postcards, dogs).

But I still miss the randomness of the vintage treasure hunt ... and of course, I miss those mini donuts too!

6 comments:

Susan said...

Obviously great memories for you at Lakewood. Great pictures with great commentary. I'm sure I would have enjoyed visiting, and the donuts. :)

Birdhouse Books said...

Thanks, Susan! It was fun revisiting the photos again.

kdmoretti said...

This sounds like MY kind of place :>) Definitely would have been an ALL day outing for sure

Birdhouse Books said...

Thanks! It was my all-time favorite antiques venue. I forgot to mention in the post that my 1950's dinette set came from Lakewood! I got the whole set for $50 because the dealer didn't want to pack and travel with it.

Sushiboofay said...

I bought a "Hope Chest" there in the 90s that still graces the end of our bed.

Toward the end I remember Lakewood as kind of junky, but in its heyday - it was truly an antique hunters dream!

Birdhouse Books said...

Your hope chest sounds so pretty!

I agree that toward the end of Lakewood there were more "new stuff" dealers outside ... we always bypassed those and went into the exhibition halls in search of the real vintage and antique stuff.