Breyerfest, how quickly you leave us. It seems we just arrived at the Clarion with hopes and dreams, and now we are left in a room full of chaos and packing material and too much stuff to take home. We laughed, we sang, we shopped, we told tall tales, we sweated, we commiserated just missing the one that got away, and now we part. Until next year, adieu.
What brings us here? Why do we return to Kentucky every July? I know my reasons – friends, finds and fun. Everyone comes with their own idea of what Breyerfest is, and here are a few things that keep us coming back.
Friends – this is my happy place. Seeing everyone you only see once a year, sitting up until midnight each night laughing, that is my essence of Breyerfest. I have selling friends that I sit and exchange info with on what is hot, what is not and recent finds and events. We help each other price stuff, set up our rooms and help sell in between all the chatter. I have line-standing friends. There are enough lines here each year to make Disney World in July look uncrowded. We reminisce about the Shannon line, laugh when cash registers go down (again), and make lemonade runs to help each other keep hydrated. This year I made a bunch of new friends. From a new Twitter pal to the wanderer I hope to run into and swap stories with again and again, I added to Facebook friends and I look forward to catching up next year. Then there are the friends from many years ago. We can say one word and go into gales of laughter. We have gone through life keeping in touch and this time to reconnect is precious.
Selling – for me I like to make money to pay for coming to Kentucky each year. Besides helping defray the hotel bill, I also enjoy helping people find what they are looking for. From the buckskin Quarter Horse Gelding that one man shared with his grandmother to the Peter Stone jumping horse grail model for a young girl, I enjoy finding models good homes. There were shoppers looking for models to start practicing customizing on, children wanting to play horses with their friends and collectors looking to fill holes in their collections. When I rescue a model from a thrift store with a huge sticker in a box of broken toys, clean it up and share with a shopper the story of what that chalky Adios went through, that is satisfying. There are pieces out there that need to find someone to appreciate them, and I don’t want more rare items disappearing into the abyss of a home that does not know and appreciate them for what they are.
Buying – this is about collecting, after all! I wouldn’t be coming if I didn’t enjoy the models. I have a collection with holes to fill, and I hope by keeping the money in the hobby we can keep it going around. What I buy this year may end up in my room for sale in a few years when the collection changes focus again. There are a lot of items out there to choose from. Chinas, plastic, tack, wagons, customs, resins, jewelry, backdrops. The rooms are full and I enjoy room shopping just as much as room selling.
Horses! We can’t forget there is a real horse out there inspiring the artists to create. We can find a portrait of our own favorite horse or enjoy a representation of those we admire. Watching the horses perform in the covered arena, warm up outside, get a bath and drowse in their stalls we are reminded of our partnership with them in the hobby. The owners who bring horses to Breyerfest are a wonderful bunch, letting us pet them, get our pictures taken and answering endless questions about them.
Raffles! The excitement of having your name called, the anticipation of the next ticket called – adrenaline is high. This year one gal got picked who only had 6 tickets. It only takes one and you could be the next lucky winner. It can be more fun to win a raffle model than to find a wonderful, under priced model in the hotel.
There are a million more reasons, but this sight is one that draws me every year. Seeing the welcome sign lets me know that just down the drive is a horse park full of friends, finds and fun. Horses alive and full of spirit, and models that can capture the essence. Excitement and anticipation are potent reasons to return to our one and only Breyerfest.
My favorite goodbye? See you in 51 weeks!