Over 300 vendors will begin streaming into Downtown Benicia at 2am, Saturday, August 14 to set up their booths for Benicia’s 47th Annual Peddler’s Fair, which attracts a whopping 30,000 to 50,000 people annually. Note: the entire population of Benicia is only about 28,000.) One of Northern California’s largest antiques & collectibles fairs, it’s quite a party that is best enjoyed with a bit of navigational strategy. The fair is pedestrian only for almost the entire length of the mile-long street. Restaurants and retail shops will be open for business and local non-profit groups will be on hand to sell food at various booths throughout the fair. Parking downtown can be a problem, so shuttles will run all day from lots at Benicia High School at 1101 Military West.
It’s a good idea to bring athletic shoes, sunscreen, a hat and water, and a shopping tote or two – with 300 vendor booths even the most disciplined shopper will find something he/she can’t live without!
The Benicia Peddler’s Fair is sponsored by St. Paul’s Historic Trust, which was organized in 1970 for the purpose of raising money to preserve and maintain the historic church and Parish Hall. The buildings were designated as State Historical Landmark #862 in 1973. Through the years, Fair earnings have been used to restore the historic stained glass windows, install a new roof and sprinkler system, build a historically compatible access ramp and retrofit the bell tower. With a famous ceiling built in the shape of an inverted ship’s hull built by Scandinavian shipbuilders, the church offers peace and a respite, along with a bit of history and architecture. Tours of the church will be given throughout the day. Ten percent of the fair proceeds are donated back to the community of Benicia for various programs.
For more information, contact the Peddler’s Fair office at 707.745.8680 or visit www.beniciapeddlersfair.org.