|By Sharon Verbeten
WAUKESHA, Wis. — Rick Kojis and his wife, Jackie, are so eager to talk antiques, they’ll even take time out of their breakfast routine to chat – especially when it comes to talking about the Wisconsin Antiques Dealers Assoc. (WADA) winter show.
This winter’s event, the 39th for the club, will be Feb. 1-2 in Waukesha.
Antiques dealer and enthusiast Kojis, who has served as show manager for the past several years, has been a member of WADA for 18 years.
Reached recently on a breakfast excursion with his wife, Kojis talked about WADA’s October show, which switched from its regular three-day event to two days. “The two-day show was very successful,” said Kojis. “We had higher attendance than when it was a three-day show.”
A record number of dealers, filling 58 booths, will highlight the winter show. Dealers will come, Kojis said, from six states in the upper Midwest.
Authenticity, condition and rarity are the guidelines for merchandise exhibited by dealers. That’s important to keep the reputation of the show intact, he added.
Doggone good antiques
In addition to doggone good antiques being offered by the dealers, the show always features an educational exhibit. This year, Jackie Kojis’ collection of antique dog-related items will highlight the event.
Titled Man’s Best Friend, the display will feature several hundred items representing more than 30 years of collecting by Jackie Kojis. Some items are pictured with this story. One of the most unusual items is a painted tin dog umbrella stand.
WADA was formed in 1948, making it the oldest, continually functioning state antiques organization in America. The not-for-profit group is dedicated to preserving Wisconsin’s heritage and to providing ongoing education for its dealers and the general public.
The group hosts shows twice per year; this year’s fall show was Oct. 4-5, also at the same venue.
The event will be at the Waukesha County Expo Center’s Forum Building, 1000 Northview Road in Waukesha. Show hours are Friday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission of $6 funds scholarships for high school students as well as grants to Wisconsin historic and heritage groups. For a $1 admission coupon or more information, visit www.WisconsinAntiquesDealers.com.