The Westport Antiques and Vintage Emporium will return this summer, after its founder-manager and the Board of Selectmen struck a deal Wednesday to bring the seasonal attraction back to the town's Saugatuck section.
The antiques market, also known as WAVE, will be held this year in the Saugatuck Metro-North Railroad Station's Lot 1 on six Sundays: June 2, June 23, July 7, July 21, Aug. 4 and Aug. 18.
"In the antiques community, Westport is now thought of as a go-to place where people have already booked the markets on their schedule," Deborah Press, the Westport antiques dealer who started and runs WAVE, told the Westport News on Wednesday. "From the buyers' end, it's great, and from the dealers' end, it's really become established."
WAVE's 2013 season is planned in the wake of its inaugural run of Sunday markets held between August and October 2012 in Luciano Park, adjacent to Lot 1. Each WAVE event this year is expected to feature between 40 and 80 dealers. Between 40 and 60 vendors participated last year, most of whom are expected to come back this year, according to Press.
Attendance at last year's WAVEs ranged between 400 and 800, according to Press. Because the WAVEs held last fall drew fewer visitors, this year's WAVEs will all take place during the summer, Press said.
The selectmen quickly moved at their meeting Wednesday to unanimously approve the second WAVE season.
"Good luck, I'm very excited," said Selectman Shelly Kassen.
WAVE is partnering this year with Connecticut Food Bank. A portion of WAVE's proceeds will be donated to the nonprofit, while patrons who make food donations to Connecticut Food Bank at each WAVE market will receive a $1 discount off the event's regular $4 adult admission price. Children attend for free.
"There's a really nice caliber of people that goes to this that sets a tone for the type of thing that we like to support and shows great support to the people who use the food bank," Jennifer Thomas, Connecticut Food Bank's events and promotions coordinator, told the selectmen.
Continuing another collaboration Press' event has forged with a local nonprofit, residents of Homes with Hope's homeless shelter and supportive-housing units will again have the opportunity to work at this year's WAVEs.
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