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Round Top Spring Show Guide 2024

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Prepare • Check the forecast before heading out but be prepared for the weather to change on a dime. Weather in Round Top can range from unseasonably warm to freezing, and from bright sunshine to rain or frozen precipitation, all in the same day. Gusty winds are also common in the Round Top countryside. Your hair likely will not survive it. • Wear sunscreen and/or a hat, and dress in layers that can easily be removed (or put back on). Choose comfortable shoes that are mud-, gravel-, and pasture-proof for shopping. Don't be a hero. Save your fancy kicks for après-antiques dinner and cocktails. • There will be plenty of opportunities to wet your whistle at the venues and local restaurants and bars, but carry a bottle of water to stay hydrated. • If you're hydrating properly, chances are you'll need to use the bathroom at a few stops. Most of the venues have permanent bathrooms with proper hand-washing stations, but porta-potties are a reality in the fields. Bring your own TP and hand sanitizer, just to be safe. • Permanent public restrooms are also available in Round Top's town square and at Henkel Square Market. • Be sure you gas up or fully charge your vehicle before you hit town. On busy days, you may be sitting in traffic on Highway 237. Round Top Mercantile has the only gas station in town. Also known as The Merc, it's very busy during the shows and closes early in the evenings. Currently, the closest EV charging station is in La Grange. T he Round Top Antiques & Design Show encompasses more than 11 miles on both sides of Texas Highway 237. Thousands of vendors and hundreds of thousands of attendees descend on the area annually, spanning spring, fall, and winter shows. Here are a few tips for navigating the largest antiques show in the U.S. TO NAVIGATE THE SHOWS By Candice Cowin Parking • Parking surfaces vary. Many are pastures paved with gravel, uneven grass, or dirt. If it rains, be careful where you park or you might get stuck. If you do get stuck, don't worry. This is Texas, and there is always a friendly person with a big truck and tow cables nearby who has been waiting for this moment. • Most parking is free and ample, but some venues charge. Rates vary from $5 to $15, cash only. The Original Round Top Antiques Fair (aka The Big Red Barn) and Marburger Farm charge for parking. Both are totally worth the price of admission. • Don't park in borrow ditches. You will be towed. • Be courteous. Don't block dumpsters, private driveways, or gates. • The antiques fields at Warrenton blend seamlessly. Pay attention to landmarks or take a photo of where you park so you can find your way back or can at least describe the location so someone can give you directions. Food, Drinks, and Entertainment • There are plenty of places to find sustenance, both at the venues and at the year-round restaurants and watering holes. Unless you have your heart set on eating at popular restaurants such as Royers Round Top Cafe, Lulu's, The Garden Co., Boon & Co, The Stone Cellar, or Mandito's (reservations may be required, and there might be a wait), stop and eat at the venues. Don't overthink it. • Many restaurants, bars, and venues offer live entertainment throughout the show. Most entertainment is free, but some events including special dinner experiences are ticketed. Check the calendar in this Round Top Antiques & Design Show Guide and on to find out where live music and special events will be held and whether you will need a ticket/reservation. Babies, Children, and Pets • Round Top is family friendly, but bringing young children and infants to the shows can be a challenge. There is a lot of car riding and walking involved on all kinds of terrain, in all kinds of weather. Changing tables are scarce, and venues are not baby-proofed. There are often sharp, heavy, very delicate, and/or expensive items on display. A lot of it is precariously placed. • Consider visiting Round Top on a non-show weekend if you have very young family members. Traffic is nonexistent and strolling the year-round shopping squares is manageable for most children. Henkel Square Market is particularly well-suited for young children and pets, as there is plenty of outdoor room to roam. Bonus: All the shops on the squares have climate control. • Many of the outdoor venues are pet friendly; however, you will need to bring supplies to clean up after your best friend, and they should always be leashed. There's a constant stream of traffic entering and exiting the venues during show times, and many venues are located close to the highway. Shop Like a Pro • Bring a shopping list with measurements of your home and a tape measure but be prepared to go off script. Round Top has a way of introducing you to things you never knew you wanted. • Bring cash with you. Most dealers accept cards, but cash is still the best bargaining tool. • See something you like but want to shop around for a better deal? Take a photo of the item and get the vendor's contact info. Also take a photo of the outside of the tent or building where you saw the item. Then cross your fingers it will still be there when you return. Chances are, it won't. • Want to buy a large item but don't have room for it in your ride? Now you know why everyone brings a truck or full-size SUV to the show — but it's okay if you didn't. Ask the venue if they offer shipping services. Several of them do or can provide a delivery contact. • If you overspent and are carrying so many items that you need to leave a purchase with a vendor to pick up later, take a picture of the merchandise and keep the receipt to show when you return. Vendors meet a lot of people during the shows, and you may not be as memorable as you think. • Consider bringing a foldable rolling cart or wagon to carry items and avoid leaving things behind or having to backtrack. Winter Show • If the fall and spring shows seem overwhelming, consider attending the winter show. Held in mid-January, the weather at the winter show is still unpredictable, but the scale of the show is smaller and more manageable. • A mini winter Show Guide is published in the December issue of Round Top Magazine each year to help navigate this more intimate laid-back affair. 74

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