March heats up with roster of Midwest antiques shows

Antiques in January may belong in New York, but March is an important month for antiques in the Midwest. Everything from folk art, quality advertising and top collectibles are on display (and for sale) in many major cities from Cedar Falls to Indianapolis. Although not in the midwest, a new show is popping up this March: USA Theatres, which operates drive-in and outdoor theatres in Central Pennsylvania, is launching the American Antique Toy & Coin-Op Show, March 3, 2012. Read on for a wrap-up of upcoming shows.

Iowa UNI-Dome Show expecting 150-plus vendors

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Melting Pot Productions’ 18th Annual UNI-Dome Antique & Collectibles Show is taking place March 16-18 in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Collectors can expect more than 150 exhibitors gathering from across the country and beyond to present Iowa’s largest indoor antique and collectibles show.

The UNI-Dome Antique & Collectibles Show will be overflowing with a selection of fine antiques and collectibles from the finest antique dealers, including: All eras and styles of vintage and antique furniture; art pottery, china and stoneware; books, postcards and ephemera; fine art and art prints; primitives and tools; fine and costume jewelry; toys, dolls and marbles; vintage textiles, quilts and rugs; silver; antique glassware; Native American art, artifacts and jewelry; political and sports memorabilia; kitchen-related antiques and even rare coins.

Travel information, including maps and hotels, as well as a discount admission coupon, can be found at

Co-founder reveals Indy Ad Show as
genesis of Schmidt Coca-Cola Museum

Indy Ad Show vintage advertisingThe Indy Antique Advertising Show is marking its 40th anniversary in 2012. The event will be held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis March 17, 2012. Admission is $8 per person.

INDIANAPOLIS – When Jan Schmidt and her late husband Bill started collecting Coca-Cola memorabilia at the first Indy Antique Advertising Show in 1972, they couldn’t have foreseen what the 40th anniversary of both events would bring.

As the Indianapolis show gained an international reputation over the years, the Schmidts amassed the largest privately owned collection of Coca-Cola memorabilia in the world and created the Schmidt Museum of Coca-Cola Memorabilia. It’s now being sold at auctions, with the next sales event occurring just one week after the 40th anniversary of the Indy Antique Advertising Show on March 17.

Jan Schmidt reflects on that life changing day at Indianapolis 40 years ago: “The family owned a bottling plant at Elizabethtown, outside of Louisville, in the early 1970s,” said Jan, adding, “We decide to fly up to Indiana to browse the show and we were hooked, we were bitten by the collecting bug.”

With excitement in her voice, she added, “We loaded up the plane with Coca-Cola items, flew home, then drove back to Indy and stuffed the car full! We never looked back,” said Jan, “but 40 years later we ended up with the largest privately held Coca-Cola collection in the world.”

Many know the Schmidts from their sharing of the collection at the world-famous 32,000 square foot Coca-Cola Museum located in Elizabethtown, which showcased their collection.

The first auction of their collection, held in September, saw more than 650 items bring in $3.3 million. The top winning bid was $140,000 shelled out for a 13-inch hanging globe light made of leaded glass. The 1920s advertising piece featured tiny pieces of cut glass creating mosaic patterns, including the Coca-Cola’s script trademark.

The next auction will be held March 24-25, just one week and 40 years after the Schmidts were “bitten by the collecting bug” at the Indy Antique Advertising Show. Proceeds from all auction sales are going into a charitable foundation being created by the Schmidt family.
“Seeing the items sold is bittersweet,” said Jan, “but when I see the pleasure on buyers’ faces, I knew they would appreciate them.”

Indy Antique Advertising Show promoters Bruce and Donna Weir were among those welcomed by Jan to the September auction.  “They are good friends,” Jan said, “and I wish them many years of success for continuing a high quality show.”

“We were blown away by the items seen at the museum,” said Bruce “and are sad to see it close, but we feel we can continue to serve those who truly love antique advertising twice per year at our shows.”  Donna added, “At our events, visitors can continue to see, feel, touch and even purchase many vintage Coca-Cola and other historic items for many years to come.”

“I want to emphasize,” she said, “many beginning collectors, some with smaller budgets, and those with interests for collectables up to the early 1960s, attend our show also – and as Jan did 40 years ago, might also get bitten by the collecting bug.”

Admission to the Indy Antique Advertising Show, held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, is $8 per person March 17. Show hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Early buyers are offered the chance to shop the day before, on March 16, from 2 to 6 p.m. for $50 per person.  Early buyer tickets are on sale for $40 when ordered before March 1.

For more information contact the promoters at or through the website at

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