The Story Behind the Lucketts Spring Vintage Market

The Story Behind the Lucketts Spring Vintage Market

Heading into the 27th year of the Lucketts Spring Vintage Market, we get asked all the time where the idea came from. Believe it or not, we had a much smaller vision for what the market has become - hundreds of vendors, tens of thousands of shoppers, and an event that people look forward to all year.

Like Lucketts Store itself, the Spring Market started as a conversation among friends - specifically me (Suzanne Eblen) and our in-house designer Amy Whyte.

Just two years after Lucketts Store opened in 1996, Amy and I decided to start a small antique fair in the parking lot of Lucketts Community Center.

We already had a lot of vendors that wanted space in Lucketts Store that we just didn’t have room for. We thought this would be a fun way to accommodate them and bring a little more attention to Lucketts.

In hindsight, I find it hilarious, that we were managing every aspect of Lucketts Store, including being the counter girls, the mover guys, the buyers, the decorators and the bookkeepers. 

We also had children, working farms and lots of animals, and yet we still had the energy and enthusiasm to say “LET'S START A SHOW!” So we did.

From its humble roots, it grew and grew in popularity, and little things like parking 1,000 cars became a growing issue over time.

I remember one comical year that the parkers at the elementary school came frantically running toward me screaming, "WE’RE FULL! Send them to your back field!"

I ran full speed down Lucketts Road to tell those parkers to get ready for cars. Meanwhile, they were running up Lucketts Road (toward me) screaming,
"WE’RE FULL! Send them to the school!"

Uh oh!

Several years in, the Lucketts Community Center was getting a full restoration, and they could no longer accommodate us, so we moved the show to the grounds of Lucketts Store. Again, the show grew in popularity, and even more cars came and filled all the surrounding fields.

The thing about parking in fields is if it rains (as it always does in the Virginia springtime), those fields turn to mud….really muddy mud…Woodstock-like mud.

We did our best for quite a few years, until 2016, when the rain was a little different. That year, it came down with amounts that hadn't been seen since the historic floods of 1936.

One of the worst nightmares as a host is if the weather creates a tremendously bad parking situation (i.e. the fields of pure Virginia clay are under water) but the rain has now stopped. The sun is shining, and everyone who lives in a normal neighborhood with sidewalks and paved roads comes out to see the show.

Again - uh oh! That year, cars were in clay up to their axels and couldn’t get out. More cars were piling in, until the Loudoun County Sheriffs closed Lucketts Road, so traffic started piling up on Rt 15. Folks started ditching their cars along 15 and walking to the shop - for miles!

So, uh...good times...good times.


The day after that Lucketts Spring Vintage Market, I packed my 96-year-old dad in the car and went searching for our new market home.

It didn’t take long to find the charming, vintage Clarke County Fairgrounds in Berryville, VA. It was built for large events and had 20 acres of pure, glorious parking. It also have lots of nice buildings so vendors could be weather-proof, a snack bar - all the details that make an event like this special.

Most importantly, the folks in Berryville could not be any more welcoming, kind and accommodating for the type of experience we want to create. We have now happily been at the Clarke County Fairgrounds since 2017.

The third weekend in May, we expect to host more than 200 vendors from up and down the East Coast! We have space to offer beer gardens and live music to more than 10,000 guest visiting each Spring (and Fall Vintage Market!).

And the best part is that there's plenty of parking for everyone who wants to come out and join us.

WOW! We’ve come a long way and we can't wait to see you there.

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