Kitsap Antique Show brings droves of antique enthusiasts

Karolyn 'Zuzu' Grimes autographs a book for a customer at the Kitsap Antique Show on Saturday. Grimes was best known for her role as 'Zuzu' in the movie 'It's a Wonderful Life.' She and Chris Brunell had a booth at the show.
— image credit: Seraine Page

Over the weekend, antique collectors flocked to the Kitsap Antique Show hosted at the fairgrounds to shop and chat with fellow antique hobbyists.

As part of an annual fundraiser, the Puget Sound Genealogical Society and the Kitsap County Historical Society and Museum paired up to host the event.

While some curious shoppers just wanted to visit antique vendors, others headed straight to the appraisal area where several appraisers awaited to offer advice on pieces attendees brought in.

Carol Lane brought two items with her to be appraised, including a family heirloom. Although it was her first time to the antique show, she said she understood how valuable some items could be, including her husband's grandfather's Roy Watch.

Lane also brought along a German iron cross that she's had for the last 40 years.

"I always wanted to know what they were worth," she said of the items.

Aside from having items appraised, Lane was also on the lookout for antique jewelry.

"If they're cheap enough and unique enough, I'll take them apart and make new ones," she said.

Compared to previous years, the event had many more dealers this year, said Ruth Reese, appraisal coordinator.

"It's going great," Reese said of the event late Saturday afternoon.

By the middle of the day, she had seen 147 items come through for appraisal, including vases, dolls, paintings and chess sets. For $5 an item, visitors could have their items appraised by those in the field. Some appraisers specialized in dolls, while others focused on items like pre-20th century items.

Bonnie Chrey has worked at the event for the last four years as a member of both societies that host it. Chrey worked with Reese to ensure folks lined up for the correct vendor.

"I like to help people get to the right vendor," she said. "They spend a lot of time with people. They're really nice."

In prior years, Chrey herself has had items appraised, including books, photos and her great grandmother's candy dish. She ended up keeping them, but decided to have them appraised so her family would know the value of the items instead of tossing them into a garage sale.

Although some of the surprises came from attendees learning what they're items were worth -- or not worth -- other surprises came as visitors wandered into various booths.

For those who are fans of the classic Christmas movie, "It's a Wonderful Life" the delight of running into Karolyn "Zuzu" Grimes was the biggest surprise.

Grimes had a table covered in her cookbooks, as well as Christmas ornaments. Several fans had stopped by her table, starstruck and excited to meet the actress who played the little girl in the movie.

While Grimes was gracious and even posed with fans for photos, she was most thrilled to be working at an event that gives back to the community, she said.

"It supports a good cause," she said. "They make us feel like we're helping."



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