Finding Fiesta in Flatwoods
It's a Fiesta frenzy at the annual Everyday Fiesta tent sale in Flatwoods.
Ann Craig of Shepherdstown is truly dedicated to her dishes, traveling four hours from the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia to get good buys. But Craig doesn’t collect just any dishes—she is a collector of modern Fiesta dinnerware, a product of The Homer Laughlin China Company of Newell. As a West Virginia icon of vintage and contemporary china, Fiesta draws collectors twice a year to the Flatwoods Factory Stores for the Everything Fiesta tent sale, just off of Exit 67 on Interstate 79 in Flatwoods. Craig is not alone in her love for these colorful, sturdy, and affordable collectibles, as thousands of savvy fans of the mix-and-match dishes show up to the three-day sale from all over the country each year. The tent sale takes place twice a year in April and August (August 11–13, 2011) and offers huge discounts on second-quality Fiesta.
Each tent sale stirs up a bit of Fiesta frenzy, as shoppers stand in line overnight. “It is the only Fiesta Outlet outside of the factory in Newell, and there are a lot of people who travel from all over the country,” says Everything Fiesta Store Manager Mike Wright. There is often a buzz going on around the tent, too, with bake sales, local fundraisers, and other outlet sales. “I was totally impressed at how the local community took advantage of the big event with community activities last year,” Craig says.
Fiesta fans are drawn to the simple allure of the colorful creations and their many sculpted forms. “I took the doors off my cabinets so the Fiesta colors would grace my kitchen like a piece of art,” Craig says. She uses her dishes every day and says she can’t deny the positive energy the bright dishes bring out. “I was looking for more color to add to the constant rainbow moving through my kitchen,” she says.
With 14 colors offered in the current line, Fiesta is like a special box of crayons, adding a new shade each year. Colors like paprika and marigold give collectors more possibilities to play with in their cabinets, too, and Fiesta continues to be innovative even after so many years. “At the April tent sale, customers could purchase the new square Fiesta line, as well as the latest color, lemongrass, in second quality,” Wright says.
An avid collector, Craig says she goes to the tent sale looking for color, with no one favorite in mind. “I love all of it. It is like finding treasures.” Whether it’s the creative excursion, finding a treasure in the rough, or the desire to travel to beautiful Central West Virginia, Craig says she just loves the outing and sharing it with friends. “I plan on coming to the next tent sale in August and bringing more women along,” she says. “After all, what is life without color?”
For information about the Fiesta tent sales at Flatwoods Factory Stores, visit www.everythingfiesta.com.
Everything Fiesta, 52 Skidmore Lane, Sutton, WV 26601; 304.765.5383; everythingfiesta.com