Whether you’re a casual fan of modern teddy bears or an avid collector of vintage dolls, the Jonesborough Visitors Center is where you want to be next week.
This will be the annual Doll & Bear Show on March 27, where more than a dozen vendors will offer hundreds of dolls for sale – in all shapes, sizes and genres. The one-day show will take place that day from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Visitors’ Center (117 Boone Street). Admission is free, but organizers are asking people to donate with all proceeds going to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
Mary Griffin, one of the three ladies who host the annual show, said at least 17 vendors will be set up, giving collectors at least 800 to 1,000 dolls to choose from. The genres will include antiquity, vintage, modern and art, there will be plush items for sale, as well as all kinds of accessories – dollhouses and clothes, tea sets, kitchen utensils, sets. laundry, building blocks and more.
“This will cover the gamut from new boxed dolls to those from the early 1800s,” Griffin said. “You will have a great time, I guarantee it and you will see things you never thought you would see.”
And the show won’t just offer toys for girls, Griffin said. In the past, some vendors have brought in boys’ toys, such as figurines and GI Joe items, while others have brought in handmade jewelry, crochet items, and baseball cards.
Vendors will come from both the Tri-Cities region and out-of-state, including Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia. A woman from Colonial Heights who specializes in doll repair is expected and an expert will be on hand to give estimates on the value of a particular doll or bear.
The last Doll & Bear Show took place last October at the height of the pandemic. People were required to wear a mask inside the visitor’s center and social distancing was encouraged. The same is true for the March 27 show, Griffin said.
“The last show went very well. We’re a small show and we have a lot of the same sellers and buyers and over the years we’ve come to shows so much it’s like a family reunion, ”Griffin said. “We stay and talk for hours, find a doll or something to buy … it’s just a good time for everyone.”
For more information on the event, call Griffin at 423-247-1639.