As the weather begins to get warmer and signs of spring are on their way, preparation for the first ever Hockley Antiques and Automotive Fair (HAAF) continue to move forward. Near the end of March, the team held their first Open House at the Orangeville Agricultural Centre, to allow potential partners and vendors to come in, check out the site and find out more information.
“I think a lot of people wanted the opportunity to meet us face to face and hear more about the event directly from us, instead of through the internet or over the phone,” explained Victoria Nicols, one of the founders of the HAAF.
Over the last several months, since the group has been active in the media, social media and websites to promote the event, a lot of interest has come their way, including a partnership with Square, a direct payment device created by the founder of Twitter. The device allows vendors to plug the small ‘square’ into their smartphone or tablet and use it as an immediate point-of-sale device for credit cards.
“We will be giving the device to all of our vendors for free and Square will have a representative at the event and all of our vendors will have the option to go online, and sign up,” said Marc Nicols, HAAF president.
The biggest draw for the event isn’t the technology however, it’s the antiques, the cars, more antiques, and of course, more cars. It’s no secret that hidden amidst the rolling hills and large home garages in the area are hundreds of beautiful, completely restored antique and classic cars.
Several local groups have already expressed their interest in bringing their own events to the fair and to incorporate it into a part of their already scheduled activities.
“We are starting to get a lot of feedback from clubs who want to host their event at the fair, things like Show’n’Shine and a meet and greet, which is kind of cool,” said Mr. Nicols. “I think just the focus around vintage vehicles, vintage clothing and antique collectibles is really striking a chord.”
During the Open House several groups and individuals came out for more information, as well as to purchase their booths, adding to the already eclectic group of antique dealers signed up for the event.
“We are pretty thrilled. You never know how many people are going to actually come,” said Elaine Capes, another founding member of the HAAF. “We’ve had calls and we’ve had a few people purchase spaces already, so it was hard to forecast, but it was good. We had some really good interest – someone from Toronto, someone from Newmarket, some that were kind of local around here.”
Along with the already announced Battle of the Food Trucks, the fair will also include a fundraiser dinner for the Headwaters Healthcare Centre and a live auction to raise money for the Dufferin County Museum and Archives.
Written by Tabitha Wells