Round Top antiques show topsy turvy

ROUND TOP, Texas – Antique dealers, collectors, lodging businesses and even the Chamber of Commerce are hoping for the best as the promoters of the best-known shows here make plans for separate dates in spring 2007. Susan Franks, with three antiques venues, has scheduled her spring shows for March 29-31, while John Sauls’ Marburger Farm Antique Show will be held April 3-7. Traditionally, the shows have taken place over the same weekend.

For Franks, the decision to set her dates 11 days before Easter was an easy one, in great part because it was a tradition passed down by show founder Emma Lee Turney. “We heard from our customers as well as our dealers,” Franks told Antique Trader. “Many had plans for family events (Easter) weekend.”

“I felt that we didn’t need to change our dates, since Easter is on April 8 next spring, and that’s after our show closes,” said Sauls, now in his 11th year of managing the show. “We’ve already printed 60,000 cards that were given to our vendors at the April 2006 show. They have the dates for our Fall 2006 (Oct. 3-7) and Spring 2007 shows.”

Franks’ antiques events are held within a few miles of each other at the Big Red Barn, Rifle Association Hall and Carmine Dance Hall. Sauls’ sprawling show is located on Highway 237 midway between Round Top and Warrenton.

“We see it as business as usual,” said Cathy Chaloupka, director of the Round Top Area Chamber of Commerce. “We are dealing with traditions, whether it’s an antique-show tradition or a religious tradition. With the separate schedules, shoppers’ travel plans will change, and they may discover treasures they didn’t expect.”

Larry and Brenda Barron own B Bar B Events, and their show is located on Highway 237 between the La Bahia Hall and Franks’ Big Red Barn. The Barrons expressed frustration with the situation because they believe the varying show dates only confuse the public. With some of the smaller shows trying to get a jump on the competition with what’s called “preview week,” the event could become a marathon.

“I have great respect for both Susan and John,” Larry said, “but this could turn (Round Top) into a three-week show! All the promoters have got to start getting together to coordinate their shows, or we’re all going to be hurt. We need better communication.”

Emma Lee Turney started the Round Top Antiques Fair in October 1968 with 22 dealers at the Rifle Hall, as it’s known locally. Franks took over the antique shows in 2005. Turney still has the Round Top Folk Art Fair and Creative Market, also located on Highway 237.

For details of Franks’ events, visit, or call 512-237-4747. Information about Marburger Farm is available at, or by calling 800-947-5799. The B Bar B Web site is The Round Top Area Chamber of Commerce Web site, with details on more than a dozen antique shows held in the region during spring and fall, is; call 979-249-4042.