“We’ve sold 450 tables, which is the maximum capacity of the exhibit hall (at the Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center),” Kent said. “That translates into about 250 individual dealers because some take multiple tables.”
The show, which has been held annually at the trade center for the past 15 years, will be Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is $8, with children under 12 admitted free.
Kent said he has vendors coming in from “all over the nation.”
“I’ve got them coming in from Michigan, from New York, a couple from California. This is really a national show,” he said.
Kent expects about 3,000 customers to show up.
“They’ll come primarily from the Southeast. The big pull will be from Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina,” Kent said. “But we will get people flying in from all over. I’ve got a guy who comes from Hawaii every year. I’ve got a guy who comes in from England quite often.”
And there will be even more for those visitors to do this year. Because this is the first year of the national celebration of the 150th anniversary of the war, which was fought from 1861 to 1865, the Dalton-Whitfield Civil War 150th Commemoration Committee is sponsoring several events Saturday at the trade center.
“We felt it makes sense to try to tie our activities into the show rather that do something separate,” said Brett Huske, executive director of the Dalton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and a member of the committee.
Three of the events are free and open to the public:
• Historian Terry Powis will speak at 2 p.m. on “New Archaeological Studies at Georgia's Civil War Sites: Pickett’s Mill”.
• Historian Richard McMurry will speak at 3:30 p.m. on “The Common Solider of the American Civil War.”
• The 8th Regiment Band will perform at 5 p.m.
All those events will take place in the trade center lecture hall.
In addition, there will be a Civil War-themed banquet at 7 p.m Saturday. Tickets are $16.99 per person, and those wishing to attend are asked to reserve tickets by Friday at (706) 272-7676.
“We’ll have memorabilia around the room. We’ll have some things that will be read during the evening. The 8th Regiment ban will perform, and we’ll have a few surprises as well,” said Huske. “The menu will be typical of what would have been served at a dinner during that period.”