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Annual show at Seaway Festival has fewer participants than previous years

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OGDENSBURG — Lovers of antiques and art went treasure hunting Sunday at the E.A. Newell Golden Dome during the 39th annual Zonta Antique and Artisan Show.

As part of the International Seaway Festival, the Ogdensburg Area Zonta Club presented a show of 23 artists and dealers of antiques from all over St. Lawrence County.

In the past, the show focused on local antiques, but the club added an arts twist a few years ago to boost participation.

“There are fewer antique dealers that will come to the shows, hence why we added the artisans,” said Colleen M. Anderson, chairwoman of the show and vice president of the Zonta Club. “Numbers were dwindling a little bit, so we thought the hand-crafted work of the artisans that will become heirlooms for years to come would tie in well.”

Miss Anderson, who has been a member of the Zonta Club for four years, said the organization’s mission is to advance the status of women worldwide. The local club, which has 45 members, gives out scholarships and raises funds for organizations that support women. Miss Anderson said the proceeds of Sunday’s show go to the club and the organizations it supports.

“We think it’s exciting to be one of the premier events of the festival, and we think it ties in really well with the other events going on, such as Founders Day,” she said.

Sherin C. Cunningham, Ogdensburg, is a retired jeweler who conducts free jewelry and watch appraisals at the event each year. She is a past president of the Zonta Club and said the show has something for everyone.

“They’re lined up outside the door at 10 a.m. to get in, and they come and go all day long,” Mrs. Cunningham said. “Furniture is a big seller usually, and there are a lot of dishes and jewelry sellers as well.”

Judith Utter, Canton, who has been a watercolorist for about 10 years, brought several prints of her science illustration paintings to sell at the show. She said it was her third year participating.

“I think it’s a very nice place for artists,” she said. “It’s a very large space and I would encourage more artists to come and take advantage of the situation.”

Peter C. Burt, owner of Decker Hill Antiques in DeKalb Junction, has been an antiques dealer for about 35 years. His 100-year-old oak furniture for sale included filing cabinets, desks and dining sets.

The show “needs more advertising and more vendors too,” Mr. Burt said. “But there’s been a few people in, and it’s been all right for me.”

Tom Woodward and his mother, Flo, owners of Flo’s Trinkets in Heuvelton, set up a booth of their antique jewelry and military items. Mr. Woodward said his booth was not very busy Sunday.

“I think it’s the economy,” he said. “People don’t have the money to buy the stuff, so they stay away so they’re not tempted by it.”

Marion McIntosh, owner of Grasse River Antiques in Canton, has been in the antiques business for 60 years. She said a disinterested younger generation is part of the reason for the smaller show.

“There are fewer vendors than they usually have,” she said. “We’re all dying out and young people aren’t really rushing in to take our places.”

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