Antique and collectables dealers from across Australia flocked to Orange on the weekend for the Zonta Club of Orange antique fair.
The club hosts the fair each year to raise money for women’s and children’s charities in Orange such as Operation Courage and the Orange Family Support Service.
Due to a steady flow of visitors to the Orange Function Centre on Friday night, Saturday and Sunday, estimations have the club on track to reach its $10,000 fundraising goal.
As well as being a charitable event, antiques and collectibles dealers are continuing to find value in the fair at a time when shop fronts are declining.
Kinnears Antiques principal Brenton Kinnear is based in Toowoomba but has been travelling to the fair for close to 30 years and said it is still a valuable place to promote his business and sell his furniture.
Mr Kinnear said collectors are finding fewer and fewer shop fronts due to overheads and online platforms taking hold.
However, he said country fairs still played a vital role.
“I really enjoy coming down here, people are certainly receptive to what we bring … they have the homes to accommodate the furniture,” Mr Kinnear said.
“In some of the older homes, the pieces look like they’ve always been there.”
Mr Kinnear said after decades travelling to fairs, he has found people living inland areas and cooler climates are more “inward focused” on their homes than those living in areas with more outdoor attractions.
“Most coastal fairs don’t have the capacity as the inland towns do,” he said.
Zonta Club of Orange president Melissa Morgan said about 180 people attended the gala night on Friday to get an early look at the items on display.
Mrs Morgan said there were a lot of compliments about the food and service provided by students from Canobolas Rural Technology High School on the night.
As well as being pleased with Friday night’s attendance, Mrs Morgan said the fair was also busy throughout the day on Saturday and although Sunday was much quieter, it remained steady.
Antique Fair coordinator Dr Sue Hatcher said there had been good responses from the 28 exhibitors who reported plenty of activity and sales throughout the weekend.
“Most people are saying it’s about the same or higher than other years,” she said.