Meet Collectors Carnival Show Promotions
For Brent and Suzie Pace, it’s hard to believe that it’s been 24 years since they formed Collectors Carnival Show Promotions in Evansville, IN as a little side business that they’d work on in the evenings and weekends after coming home from their ‘regular’ full-time jobs. Launched primarily due to Brent’s longtime interest in collecting Cooks and Sterling breweriana that was produced by Evansville’s Sterling Brewery, the first Collectors Carnival show was an extension of the smaller breweriana shows that Brent and another fellow collector had been promoting at the Sterling Brewery before the brewery’s closing.
The Pace’s goal for that first Collectors Carnival show in 1992 was to bring together the best quality antique & vintage collectible dealers they could find from the tri-state region. That meant hitting the road most weekends to attend a wide variety of antiques & collectibles shows and flea markets of various sizes and calibers throughout the Ohio valley to meet and personally invite them to come give Collectors Carnival Shows in Evansville a try. Putting to use their hard work ethic, business sense for organization and communication and desire to treat others fairly, the Paces’ goal remains the same today with their quarterly shows that take place every January, April, August and October when 100 to 300 quality vendors fill up to eight buildings plus outside field spaces on the beautiful, park-like grounds of the Vanderburgh Co. Fairgrounds at the north end of Evansville.
That work ethic has extended to their two children, Jacob and Brooklynn, now teenagers who have literally grown up in the business learning to set up and tear down the buildings, take admission and porter dealers in and out. “Because of our shows, they know how to work and have the ability to look an adult in the eye and carry on an intelligent conversation, which not many kids their age know how to do anymore. They’ve learned how to handle themselves and interact with the public. It’s taught them the value of working hard and sticking with something even when it’s not convenient or pleasant when the weather isn’t ideal or they’d rather be doing whatever their friends are doing. Jacob and Brooklynn are so fortunate that many of our dealers have been with us since the day they were born and are still a special part of lives today.” says Suzie.
Over the past 24 years, the Collectors Carnival Shows have adapted to keep up with the changing times and now appeal to an even wider array of collector & shopper with their expanded Antique & Flea Markets and Craft & Vendor Fairs. Attracting both the knowledgeable picker and recreational treasure hunter looking for quality antiques and vintage collectibles results in consistently good sales for Paul and Susan Schroeder of Schroeders Antiques from Huntingburg, Indiana. The Schroeders have been selling vintage pottery, quilts and small collectibles since 1980 and have been regular Collectors Carnival vendors since 1993. Susan says the reason they keep coming back is because “It’s an awesome show with promoters who take the time to listen to the vendor’s ideas and try and make it one of the best shows in the Midwest.” adding that a visit to one of the Collectors Carnival Shows is a collector’s Bucket List “must do!”
Laura Wilderman, owner of Vintage Collections Antique Mall in Uptown Mount Carmel, IL agrees. After some initial skepticism about the amount of work Laura thought it would take to do a show, she tried it out and now would not miss being a vendor at a Collectors Carnival Show. “I love the organization and promotion of the show.” says Laura. As a dealer and antique mall owner, Laura is always looking for those affordable, one-of-a-kind items that are ‘fun’, adding that “Suzie and the dealers make it fun!”
With the addition of their Saturday-only Craft & Vendor Fairs taking place on the same weekends as the Antique & Flea Markets and included with your admission, the number of vendors & shoppers has continued to climb over the past two years. “There really is something for everyone at our Collectors Carnival Shows! We now have a growing number of artisans selling all sorts of wonderful handcrafted items along with a huge variety of the different multi-level marketing (MLM) home business vendors including Pampered Chef, Tupperware, Mary Kay, Tastefully Simple, Scentsy and newcomers Nerium, Norwex, Advocare, Young Living Essential Oils and many more. Gone are the days of having to host a home party. Now, you can just come to the Collectors Carnival Craft & Vendor Fair four times a year and it’s like having 50 home parties all rolled into one!”