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Warmer weather brings crowd out to February Finds

Almost spring-like temperatures on Saturday after a week of snow and bitter cold brought a buying crowd to the seventh annual February Finds Antiques and Collectible Market.

With the temperature nearing 40, an almost 70-degree upswing from three days earlier, the parking lot at the Mt. Morris Moose Family Center was filled with cars by late morning.

Inside, two rooms in the center were filled with vendors greeting a steady stream of shoppers.

The atmosphere was cordial as shoppers and vendors discussed the items for sale and chatted with friends they made in previous years at the event.

“I think everyone is glad to get out after last week,” said first time vendor Rhonda Heflin, of Rockford.

Tammy Provo, of Mt. Morris, a veteran vendor at the event agreed. “I think everybody is sick of being housebound,” she said.

Both reported that their booths were staying busy.

Shoppers were apparently satisfied as well.

Ellen Bramm, of Mt. Morris, had her arms full of packages well before noon.

“I’m thrilled! I got two music boxes. She even had the boxes for them,” she said. “And good prices. It’s been great!”

Lori Peterson, of Mt. Morris, held up a painting of London that she had just purchased.

“I’ve been here about three minutes and I’ve already found a painting I love,” she said.

In the other room, Darrel and Nylia Swalve, of Forreston, were taking a close look at the treasures offered by Mt. Morris vendors Howie Herman and Kris Brunner.

Nylia said they have come to the event in previous years.

“We look for local things,” she said. “This show has unusual things that you don’t always see.”

“We just buy what we like,” Darrel said. “We’ve been collecting a long time.”

Herman had good things to say about the market. 

“It’s a great event. People love old stuff and there’s a lot of socializing going on,” he said.

Event organizer Edie White said an estimated 450 to 500 people attended the show.

“It was a steady crowd all day. All the vendors were happy,” she said. “Besides being an antiques and collectibles market, it’s also a social event. A lot of local people come in the morning and stay all day.”

Proceeds from the event each year are split between the Moose Lodge and another local organization.

White said this year’s second recipient was the Mt. Morris Work Group for its restoration of the Price Fountain on the downtown campus.

Other recipients over the years include the Let Freedom Ring Festival, Mt. Morris Fire Department, Serenity Hospice & Home, and the Mt. Morris PEO Chapter.

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