Jennie Dillon


“Wow, that looks old, it must be an antique.” We hear that said a lot these days, especially because of the popularity of shows such as Antiques Road Show and American Pickers. Well, here’s your chance to attend Gettysburg’s own Antiques Road Show where you can become an American Picker. More than 120 antique dealers and collectors from all over the country will converge on Gettysburg on May 18 for the 52nd annual Gettysburg Spring Outdoor Antique Show.

So what constitutes an antique? The common definition of antique is a collectible object such as a piece of furniture or work of art that has a high value because of its considerable age. The customary definition requires that an item should be at least 100 years old and in original condition (motor vehicles are an exception to the 100 year rule). So now we know what qualifies something to be an antique. Now you’re ready to go antiquing.

Antiquing is the act of shopping, identifying, negotiating, or bargaining for antiques. Some great sources for antiquing are estate sales, antique districts, auction houses, yard sales and outdoor antique shows like ours. However, antiquing also has a secondary definition which is the craft of making an object appear antique through distressing or using antique-looking paint applications. Often, people can get confused between handmade distressed vintage or modern items and true antiques. The last thing you want to do is find yourself paying a high amount of money for something that has little value in the antiquing industry.

So what antiques might you find in downtown Gettysburg on May 18? The Gettysburg Outdoor Antique Show is a “buyers and sellers” paradise with high quality antiques and collectibles. Items range from Depression-era glass, bottles, holiday collectibles, coins, dolls, postcards, old toys, crocks, tools, furniture, knives and much more. There are also stores in town that handle antiques year round; Union Drummer Boy (a GARMA member), The Horse Soldier, The Antique Center of Gettysburg and Rebels Roost Antiques to name a few. Don’t forget to not only shop the vendors on the streets, but also the brick and mortar shops. You never know what treasure you might find when shopping the streets of Gettysburg. That item you buy today might just become an antique you want to pass down to the next generation.

If you don’t find what you’re looking for this spring, have no worries. The Gettysburg Outdoor Antique Show is a bi-annual event occurring again in the fall. The event is always the third Saturday of May and September. Proceeds from the Antique Show help GARMA provide Christmas In Gettysburg and the Annual Tree Lighting Event held the day after Thanksgiving. For more questions about the Outdoor Antique Show visit us at

Jennie Dillon is the owner of Artworks on York Street and vice president of GARMA.

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