Barjac antique fair gets off to a good start despite the health crisis
The antique fair of Barjac (Gard) was inaugurated this Tuesday after the previous edition in May was cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis.Condition for the resumption this summer: the wearing of masks is compulsory for all.
The antique fair of Barjac in the Gard region of France got off to a flying start on Tuesday, inaugurating its 15th August edition, which takes place twice a year and could not be held in May due to the health crisis linked to the coronavirus.
All week long, visitors can take advantage of this flea market area to hunt for collectors’ items , furniture, art objects, jewellery or various knick-knacks, in the heart of this commune classified as a “village of character”.
Record attendance for a start
After being deprived of flea markets for several weeks due to the health crisis, both buyers and sellers were eager to do business.
Unpacking even took place shortly before the official opening time announced at 10:00 a.m.: “Some had already started unpacking because of the presence of the buyers. There was a bit of tension, you have to understand, the period is not easy. So we authorized unpacking at 9:15 a.m.,” comments Michel Raoux, vice-president of the economic and tourist expansion committee of the commune, the organizing association.
During these first hours, the antique dealers rarely leave their stands, so it is important to be available for professional customers and connoisseurs:
“It’s the day of the relentless. They’re the ones who come in early, often professionals or people who are willing to put in a lot of money for something they covet.” – Philippe, an antique dealer from Nancy who comes for the first time to Barjac.
Several flea markets are even observing a higher attendance at the start than in other years. Good news for Michel Raoux: “There were no other flea markets in the area: L’Isle-sur-la Sorgue is not taking place, Carpentras is not taking place, in the area we are the only ones. So all the buyers will fall back on Barjac, at least I hope so!”
Strict observance of mask wearing
The services of the prefecture and the gendarmerie were present at the opening to ensure that health security conditions were respected. In particular, gendarmes circulated in the aisles to call visitors to order without masks. Masks are compulsory at all flea markets and announcements on the microphones regularly remind visitors of this.
Not easy to bear all day in the sun, but for Thierry, this is his 16th participation as an antique dealer in Barjac: “If that’s the only constraint for the fair to take place, it’s not the end of the world.”
It is with the support of the town hall and the prefecture that the association has decided to organize this edition, which runs until Sunday: “We called back all the exhibitors who were registered for May, they almost all came, and we took some new ones,” adds Michel Raoux. There are nearly 400 this year, a good average for this event which has been held since 1972. The fair can welcome up to 60,000 visitors during the week.