Teddy Bear and Doll Show

As temperatures warm up to more seasonal and tolerable levels, folks will likely be looking to get out of the house this weekend. The 23rd annual Teddy Bear and Doll Show and Sale will be held at the Lafayette Hotel on Sunday, when the high is supposed to be in the low 50s.

“All week we have been praying for better weather,” said Lacey Lanning, reservations manager of the Lafayette, where many of the out of town vendors will also book rooms for the event. “It is typically a pretty good weekend for us – we give specials rates, get a lot of foot traffic and we have already gotten a lot of phone calls (about the show).”

There will be 30 artists and dealers from five states offering everything from Barbie dolls and clothes to Madame Alexander, Lee and Lloyd Middleton, Boyds Bears and other collectible dolls and teddy bears.

Susan Reynolds, 57, is a longtime and avid collector of dolls, especially ones made in Japan circa 1870 to 1920. The Caldwell resident and doll restoration expert will have a doll as an example of her collection on display Sunday.

“She is a work in progress and maybe next year she’ll be done,” laughed Reynolds who operates Reynolds’ Restoration Services in Marietta. “I always try to have samples of my work.”

Reynolds has been coming to this particular event for years and says of all the toy and doll shows she attends, the local show is the best.

“It’s not just because I’m from here,” she said. “I do travel to other shows and this is my favorite. It is beautiful and so well-coordinated and there is just about everything you could want as a collector.”

The event is not just for the serious collector, however. Adults and children alike browse table after table looking at all that is being offered.

“People will stay for hours, just talking. It’s great to see that,” said Anna Vukovic, director of volunteer services at Marietta Memorial Hospital and coordinator of the event.

Dolls and toys will be for sale and for a small fee, an appraiser will look at items that are brought in.

Typically around 300 people attend the Teddy Bear and Doll Show and Sale, which brings in about $1,000 annually for the Marietta Area Teddy Bear Fund. Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for children, and has been that way for years.

“We’ve left the price the same because I want it to be accessible to everyone,” Vukovic said.

The Teddy Bear Fund provides new stuffed toys to children and adults who have to be hospitalized for any reason. Oftentimes, nurses and doctors will use the animals to explain procedures which might be frightening to a child or just a source of comfort for anyone who needs it. This fundraising event, along with Teddy Bear Week in October, helps to provide 1,200 teddy bears each year, as well as helping out whenever there is a need.