Sunday, January 21, 2001

Lebanon wants antique show back

Businesses miss shoppers

By Jenny Callison
Enquirer Contributor

        SPRINGB0RO — Although it has been held here for two years, organizers of the Lebanon Antiques Show want to keep the event's Lebanon connection strong.

        As customers filtered through the front entrance to Springboro Junior High School Saturday, they were offered information about Lebanon by antiques dealers Dee and Keith Alexander. A flier promoted an “after-hours” event sponsored by the Lebanon Antique Dealers and Merchants Association.

  • What: Lebanon Antiques Show.
  • When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today. •
  Where: Springboro Junior High School, south Ohio 741, Springboro.
  • Admission: $5, which includes appraisal of two items brought from home.
  • Information: (513) 932-1817.
        “We appreciate Springboro offering this as an interim location until we can find a location in Lebanon that will support the show,” said Ms. Alexander.

        Until October 1999 the antiques event was held at the Warren County Career Center in Lebanon. Then school policy changes and space reconfigurations made the facility unworkable for the show. No other building in town had adequate space, so organizers accepted an invitation from the Springboro schools.

        The Springboro business community has been enthusiastic about having the show in town.

        “Merchants are really making an effort to introduce themselves to the show vendors, and traffic has improved in our businesses since the first time the antiques show was here,” said Anne Stremanos, director of the Springboro Chamber of Commerce.

        Jennifer Taylor, owner of Springboro's Brass Pig Tea Room, estimat ed that the antiques show had boosted her business about 20 percent.

        Meanwhile, Lebanon's downtown businesses miss the shoppers who used to spill into town during the antiques show, said Sue Hall, manager of the event and herself a Lebanon antiques dealer.

        “Now it's like any other day. Those two weekends used to be our very best time of year, better than Christmas,” Ms. Hall said. “People who attend the show just get back on the highway and head home.”

        George Stengl still sees some of the vendors in his Lebanon restaurant, Best Cafe. But it's not quite the same.

        “After they'd close up at night, we would have an onslaught of dealers coming in for dinner. This place would fill up to capacity,” he said. “But some day the show will be back, like the Browns coming back to Cleveland.”"

        Lebanon is making an effort to solve the problem, said city manager James Patrick. “We're still trying to find a location, and are still talking at this point with the Warren County Fair Board about leasing a hall at the fairgrounds,” he said.


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