Visitors from far and wide arrive for the Ballarat Antique and Vintage Fair

VISITORS to this weekend’s Ballarat Antique and Vintage Fair will find everything from a cup and saucer to a house full of furniture or a car.

Fair organiser John Markworth said the event was the largest and longest-running of its kind in Australia and would attract thousands of people.

Some would travel from interstate just to be a part of it.

“Collectors are very extreme, they’d rather collect than eat,” Mr Markworth said.

“We have the collectors who have a particular thing they collect and they’ll be first in the long queue tomorrow morning to size up that elusive piece.

“There are also the people who appreciate the workmanship that goes into the antique pieces.”

The event will be staged at a new venue, the Ballarat Function Centre, after outgrowing its former home down the road.

Mr Markworth said an old warehouse at 501-503 Dowling Street, Wendouree, had been transformed into the largest exhibition space in Ballarat.

“We’ve been able to create a new venue that the town really needs,” he said.

Dealers from around Australia will attend the fair, where there will be 132 stalls offering “a bit of everything”, from vintage jewellery and clothing to a German micro-car.

“It’s a cross between a motor scooter and a car and it was all the rage in the mid 50s and early 60s,” Mr Markworth said.

“A vehicle like that would bring easily the price of a new Holden.”

He said the dealers had saved their best pieces for the annual fair, now in its 44th year.

“We don’t really know what’s going to be here until it’s all unveiled,” Mr Markworth said.

“There’s no telling what will turn up.”