Here are my top tips (in no particular order) for any Brimfield adventurer:
* Dress/pack for ANY weather condition...even if it is 90 degrees and sunny, do NOT leave home without a rain jacket in the back of the car...similarly, even if it's raining, don't forget the sunscreen...the weather can change in an instant and it is easier to walk back to the car than to be miserable for the next 6 hours.
* On a similar note, wear appropriate shoes...even if it rained on Tuesday and you are going on Sunday, chances are the ground is still mucky and wet from Tuesday and all of the foot traffic, combined with the severe lack of grass by the end of the week will make for uneven ground...also wear shoes that you will actually want to walk in for hours on end.
* Take a backpack/messenger bag...there are many, Many, MANY small items at Brimfield and if you don't have a place to put your treasures as you begin to collect them you will find yourself either needing to constantly run back to the car, or playing a delicate balancing act in your arms for the rest of your visit (which makes it that much harder to go digging through and finding even more treasures).
* Take Cash! Although some of the merchants are set up to take credit cards, and some will take personal checks, your best bet is to pay with cash...there are ATMs on the grounds, but better to be safe than sorry...it also makes it much easier to stick to a budget and only spend the cash you have...(note, be mindful any time you are carrying large amounts of cash, we have never had a problem at Brimfield but we always take precautions like splitting the cash between us and also keeping some in various places...all of it in the backpack + backpack left at lunch table = big problem!)
* Make a list if you can...this is an entirely personal choice, but I find that Brimfield can be extremely overwhelming if you are only going for one day and plan to look at everything...we like to make a list of the major pieces we are looking for so we have our sights set on something...this does not mean that we don't look at everything, but sometimes it can help us decide if a tent is even worth going into...on our first trip to Brimfield we were completely unprepaired and by the end of it I felt like crawling into the fetal position because of the extreme amount of inspiration and things to see.
This year our Brimfield adventure will likely consist of:
--dressing in layers: hiking pants (cool if it's hot, and dry quickly in the rain), t-shirt layered over a tank top, long sleeve shirt or sweatshirt, hat to keep off the sun, and tennis shoes, plus an extra pair of socks and a rain jacket in the car just in case
--backpack containing: sunglasses, bottle of water, hand sanitizer and small travel roll of toilet paper (there are port-a-potties, but there are also thousands of people...things run out), and small reusable shopping bag just in case
--The List: chairs (for reading), old camera/surveyor's tripod, and always on the list are textiles/costumes/sewing supplies (me) and Maxfield Parrish prints/anything Stickley inspired (Jess)
Well folks, those are my words of wisdom. I hope you decide to venture out to Brimfield this week (May 8th-13th)...and if you end up there on Sunday you just might see me!!!!