January 22nd, 2021

Antique and Toy Show and Sale returns to its roots

By Bobinec, Greg on January 20, 2020.

Herald photo by Greg Bobinec
Shoppers browse through dozens of vendors selling their collections of vintage toys and antiques, for the annual Antique and Toys Show and Sale, Saturday afternoon at the Italian Canadian Club. @GBobinecHerald

Greg Bobinec

Lethbridge Herald


The annual Lethbridge Antique and Toy Show and Sale event returned to the city on the weekend for people to explore through their childhood memories and find some classic antiques.

The Antique and Toy Show has been an annual event in southern Alberta for over 25 years, allowing collectors from all over western Canada to show off their collections and sell to the public. Organizers of the event say it’s a good way to find unique and hard to find toys for children, as well as for some people to reflect on the type of toys they had growing up.

“This weekend we are having our annual Toy Show and Antique Sale,” says Larry Samoleski, event promoter. “People like to come out to the show for different reasons, some people like to see and buy things that they used to have as a kid and that kind of stuff. Our vendors are from all over western Canada for the most part and people will find some older antique stuff that people have been collecting over the years and then a lot of farm toys, construction toys and trucks.”

Samoleski was brought into the world of collecting and refurbishing toys by his own doing, as he found interest in his childrens’ toys. Starting with a few, he would clean them up and make them look like new again, so they could be displayed.

“I collect mostly farm machinery, but I probably have between two and three hundred pieces of construction stuff,” says Samoleski. “I was originally a farmer, so my kids like farm toys and I got them away from them when they grew up and I painted them up and put them up on my shelves, and that is how I got started in collecting.”

The Lethbridge Antique and Toy Show and Sale has moved locations throughout southern Alberta and Lethbridge, as they started out in a Coaldale school basement and moved to Exhibition Park as they outgrew the space. After years at Exhibition Park, organizers realized the space was too much for the event, although the popularity of the event draws over a thousand people over the weekend.

“We started this in Coaldale about 15 years ago and we outgrew the school out there and we had it for about 10 years at Exhibition Park,” says Samoleski. “We moved here from Exhibition Park because it came to be too much for us, so we moved to the Italian Canadian Club and we are very comfortable here, it’s half the size, but it is a lot closer and more friendly.”

From classic Hot Wheels to figurines and glass antiques, hundreds of people throughout the community over the weekend were able to take a trip down memory lane and find items they have never seen at the annual Lethbridge Antique and Toy Show and Sale.

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