The people of Texas don’t do things by halves, this is an Antique Fair on steroids and then some. This event is held twice a year, running for two weeks, about an hour out of Austin city (you’ll need to hire a car) is made up of 5 different towns in rural Texas completely street-lined with stallholders full of antiques and collectables.
So much you don’t know where to look from ceramics, art, clothes, hats, jewellery, furniture, linen and so on.. You’ll find hipster style vintage to grandma’s old barn yard vintage, and super fancy antiques. Not as much clothing as you’d normally find at a vintage fair but plenty of bags and jewels to satisfy those fashionistas.
Now I allocated a day at the fair, totally underestimated. To put it into perspective I managed to get through only 1, out of 5 towns participating!! So you’ll need at least, at the very least 2-3 days. See map, I went to Warrenton only.
Map - AntiqueWeekend.com
I went on the second last day of the two week fair, there was still an abundance of vintage goodies. Considering it was close to the finish line the stallholders were keen to strike a deal, not wanting to load anything into their vans (I know how that feels) so I was able to get a lot for half price. Good to know. But with loads of good stuff still avail, I’d hate to know what I missed out on the previous 12 days.
The people from Texas are the nicest and sweetest kind, they like to say “Hi to y’all”, it’s cool. The country Texas vibe with BBQ Brisket food trucks, corn dogs, coffee and beer, it’s not just about the shopping but the experience too.
Overall was a great day, the shear volume of goods and size of the fair was completely overwhelming, I’m so glad I took a day out of my trip to venture out of the city and do my favourite thing “vintage shop”.
So our first ever Viva Las Vegas (Viva), it was all that I hoped it would be and more. 4 nights and 3 days of rockabilly all in one casino. It was awesome.
Thursday night (opening night for ticket holders only) was manic, vendor and band sections were open at 5pm and the crowds went wild. Especially the vintage vendors, it was out of control shopping, I don’t think people could swipe their cards fast enough. I picked up a few little goodies like my Lucite Bag, oh I love you.
Friday we hung by the pool, watched the Aquasonics and the Men’s Vintage Swimsuit Competition - now guys before you laugh first prize was a brand new Gretsch guitar pretty impressive. The pool party (and the entire event) was like stepping back in time, girls subtly swinging their legs in the pool twirling their parasol with perfectly curled hair and ruby red lippy, the guys were also dressed appropriately with thigh-high boardshorts, hawaiian shirts and some were even wearing vintage twin sets. Tip - Don’t wait until Sunday to go to the Pool Party, you’ll line up there is strict limits to the number of people let into the pool area, and everyone has the same idea.
We caught the Charles Phoenix Retro Slide Show, was hilarious, Charles collects old slides mostly from the 50’s & 60’s of almost anything, I particularly enjoyed his commentary on the slides with the lesbians wearing matching knitted sweaters, or were they sisters? either way they were weird.
Saturday is the day everyone can’t wait for, it’s jam-packed full of things to do including the main day of the Car Show. There are more markets, head-liner acts on the main stage such as Dick Dale & Little Richard, thousands of classic kustom cars (I can’t just say classics as I doubt many of them would be original or restored to original condition, but kustom YES), Miss Viva Pin Up Contest, Sailor Jerry Tattoo Contest and heaps more. Here’s a few pictures of the day, it was the best day of the weekend.
A bunch of Aussies met up for a photo, REPRESENT!
Saturday night closed for us with the Miss Viva Las Vegas Burlesque Competition, hand selected acts from around the globe compete here to be crowned Miss Viva Las Vegas. Missy Lisa from Texas taking out the title, you can watch her performance here.
The performances were of the highest quality, mostly classical/traditional acts a little different to the character of performance we like to do in Oz but very entertaining. Tip - If you get over to Viva you need to get tickets to the Burlesque Shows at 12 noon, they are for wristband holders only, and you need to line up. If you wait til about 1:30-2:00pm and they have any tickets left there usually isn’t a line.
All in all Viva Las Vegas was more than what we expected and more again, we would definitely go again just with a little less time in Vegas beforehand, Vegas time by Sunday had taken it’s toll with 8 nights in a row up after 3am… mmm… Vegas BABY!
The history in Las Vegas is extensive, from the beginnings back in 1931 when the first gambling licence was issued a lot has happened since and then some! With casinos dropping off and popping up like there’s no tomorrow there still is a little nostalgia left firstly being in Fremont Street, secondly the Neon Boneyard Museum so we spend a little time at both.
Fremont Street (aka Glitter Gulch) was where it all started, it was the first paved street in Las Vegas and had the first traffic light all those years ago. In the 40’s & 50’s many of the casinos that you can still see today where built like The Golden Nugget, Binion’s Horseshoe and El Cortez they still light up Fremont Street but now with a little help from a newly built barrel vault canopy (90ft high, covering four blocks) LED TV screen.
Fremont Street is my favourite part of Vegas, not only are you surrounded by nostalgic signs and thousands of light bulbs it has the character you expect from Las Vegas rather than monstrosities of high end luxury hotels that really all look and feel the same.
At Fremont Street East there are loads of hipster bars and hang outs opening up, we spent a few nights at the Beauty Bar such a great little late night venue. Styled on 1950’s beauty salon, the walls a covered with glitter, you sit in old salon chairs with the head thingys and they have kareoke on Monday nights… highly recommended!
Fremont Street and the Neon Boneyard Museum go hand in hand, we’d recommend going to the museum during the day then taking the plunge to Fremont Street at night (on the same day) you can then relate signage and history from the museum back to your Fremont Street experience. The Neon Boneyard is where those old beautiful signs come to rest their head after many years of being out on the strip, they hold such valuable history. The tour is interesting, and the photo opps are amazing, the photos you take here will be your best from Las Vegas.