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The Upstate Economy

Antique Week draws collectors, dollars to Madison County

Nicole Bratt/flickr

For much of the year, the town of Madison is quiet. But this week, people are coming in droves to shop for, and sell, antiques during the town's 42nd annual Madison-Bouckville Antique Week.

"It's a wonderful daytime or two day or three day event," says Terry Karst, who owns and operates Station House Antiques, in Bouckville. "I've seen people who are here all week and never see it all, and you never will. You have to pick and choose where you're going to go."

Every August, thousands of collectors and dealers set up shop on more than 90 acres of land during the state's largest annual antique show. According to Madison-Bouckville Promotions president, John Mancino, the event generates millions of dollars in economic activity for the rural community.

"Everybody that rents space up here generally uses that money to pay their property taxes or make their property taxes easier to deal with," Mancino said. "Just the fact that all the little businesses we have here, we have several little restaurants, convenience stores and gas stations. They all benefit greatly from this."

Terry Karst and his wife, Rebecca, say although their year-round business competes with more than 2,200 vendors that set up in hay fields along Route 20, there is a sense of camaraderie between dealers.

"Even though they may carry a lot of the same things that you do, or the same type of things you do, you certainly hope that they are extremely successful and that they make a buck," Karst said. "They put a lot of money out and a lot of time and effort into it."

They say even highway and gasoline sales taxes generated by visitors provide a benefit for Madison County's businesses and residents.

Antique Week ends on Sunday.