“The Antique Road Show” is coming to Paxico.
Well, not quite, but almost.
And, what better place to host one if it were than Paxico, Kansas, America, featuring a two block main street filled with antique shops.
“Actually, it’s the Paxico First Friday Antique & Art Walk, Friday, March 7, in the heart of the historic Paxico Antique District,” officially announced Larry Winkler, secretary-treasurer of the Paxico Merchants Association, and with his wife, Peg, owner of two antique shops.
Let’s just simply call it the Paxico Antique Road Show for fun, because format of the day’s packed activities will be formatted quite similarly to that of the highly popular and frequently aired television Antique Road Show.
“Jim Wright, who has 30 years in the antiques business, has worked with Public Broadcast Service appraisers, and was voted Missouri Southwest Top Appraiser four years in a row, will be doing just that right here in Paxico,” Winkler clarified.
Each person bringing an antique to be appraised can have it done completely free. “The second and additional antiques will be appraised by Mr. Wright for a nominal fee,” Winkler said.
Appraisals are set from noon to 8 p.m., Friday, and 10 a.m., to 1 p.m., Saturday, according to a promotional flyer.
“We have several special events each year in Paxico, and we’d been talking about a First Friday Antique & Art Walk for some time. This is the first one I’ve been involved in, but there has been considerable interest from distance places. The more people hear about it, the more calls we’re getting,” Winkler said.
It’ll be a full day of activities in reality. “We have seven antique shops, two art galleries, two restaurants, an upholstery shop, a furniture restoration workshop, and several other businesses, some open at irregular hours. They’re all in easy walking distance of each other,” explained Winkler, who with his wife own and operate Aunt Peg’s Country Bank Antiques and Main Street Antiques.
Everybody likes to eat, and the restaurants have promised savory menus. “There’ll be barbecue and grilled food, plus of course, Flint Hills chili,” Winkler affirmed.
To keep with the gala small town fun atmosphere, “The Haymakers,” popular band, will be entertaining with live “Americana Music,” the enthusiastic community leader informed.
Like many, if sadly not most, small towns, Paxico in northern Wabaunsee County was once a thriving rural community with every building filled by businesses serving the few townspeople and hundreds of farm families from many miles around, but those days faded.
“Fortunately, we still have a bank, the middle and junior high school and churches, and other businesses, obviously highlighted by antique shops. Our easy access right off Interstate 70 has been a real asset to our survival and growth,” admitted Winkler, who has been in the antique business for a number of years.
“I had a shop at Wamego, but our business has expanded and thrived since moving here to Paxico four years ago,” Winkler contended.
Other notable establishments at Paxico include a campground, nearby winery, and Western store.
Antique shops are nothing unique, but coming to Paxico and their shops really is. “People just love the charm of the historic Victorian-era storefronts, and the variety of merchandise offered at Paxico’s many antique shops. They love to hear and read about the fascinating history of this little town,” Winkler claimed.
“We’ve had patrons come from all over the United States and a number of foreign countries, Germany, Austria, New Zealand and many more. People come from Kansas City and St. Joe areas all of the time to visit and shop in Paxico,” according to Winkler,
A pleased smile came to Winkler as he thought about and reflected the elderly couples, actually couples of all ages, holding hands seemingly romantically as they leisurely stroll down the cobbled streets.
The best way to appreciate all this is to visit Paxico, but Winkler insisted he would be remised not to mention the Mill Creek Antiques shop. “Bud Hund has operated it 40 years; he’s a pioneer in our business district. What’s most unique about Mill Creek Antiques is that Bud and his helpers restore old wood stoves, you know the kind your grandparents heated their homes with,” Winkler noted.
These wood stoves are not reproductions, but the real things used more than a half century ago all the way back more than 100 years into the 1800s. The stoves are completely refurbished to new-like condition and sold all over the world. Restoration is also done on antique wood stoves brought in by collectors.
“It’s really interesting to look at the wood stoves. After they’ve been restored, stoves are actually quite nice to look at with the silver and black and artful adorations,” Winkler admitted.
Enough said, actually it’d require a ream of paper to tell all about Paxico, the book tells that, so get the firsthand experience on Friday, March 7, at the Paxico First Friday Antique & Art Walk, with antique appraisals and shopping opportunities, and on Saturday, the 8th, as well.