JONESBOROUGH — Whether you’re a casual fan of modern teddy bears or a hardcore collector of vintage dolls, the Jonesborough Visitor’s Center is where you want to be next week.
It’ll be the annual Doll & Bear Show on March 27, where more than a dozen vendors will be offering hundreds of dolls for sale — of all shapes, sizes and genres. The one-day show will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the visitor’s center (117 Boone St.). Admission is free, but organizers are asking folks to make a donation with all of the proceeds going to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Mary Griffin, one of three ladies who organizes the annual show, said at least 17 vendors will be set up, offering collectors at least 800 to 1,000 dolls to choose from. Genres will include antique, vintage, modern and art, there will be plush items for sale, along with all manner of accessories — doll houses and clothing, tea sets, cookware, laundry sets, building blocks and more.
“It’ll run the gamut from new in box dolls to ones from the early 1800s,” Griffin said. “You’ll have a good time, I guarantee it and you’ll see things you never thought you’d see. It won’t be dull and you might make a lot of friends.”
And the show won’t just offer toys for girls, Griffin said. In the past some vendors have brought toys for boys, such as action figures and G.I. Joe items, while others have brought handmade jewelry, crocheted items and baseball cards.
Vendors will be coming from both the Tri-Cities area and from out of state, including Virginia, North and South Carolina and Georgia. A Colonial Heights woman who specializes in doll repair is expected to attend and an expert will be on hand to give estimates on how valuable a particular doll or bear may be.
The last Doll & Bear Show was held this past October during the height of the pandemic. Folks had to wear a mask while inside the visitor’s center and social distancing was encouraged. The same thing holds true for the March 27 show, Griffin said.
“The last show went great. We’re a small show and we have a lot of the same vendors and same buyers and over the years we’ve come to the shows so much, it’s like a family reunion,” Griffin said. “We stay and talk for hours, find a doll or something else to buy ... it’s just a good time for everybody.”