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Golden Years: Iconic Cutchogue Antique Show Turns 50

The Cutchogue Antique Show and Sale is turning 50 this year. To put it in perspective, that means that the first Cutchogue Antique Show took place the summer after JFK was assassinated, the summer after the Beatles first came to America, the summer after Liz and Dick got married (for the first time). How’s that for the wayback machine?

That’s right—cars that rolled off the assembly line the year of the first Cutchogue Antique Show and Sale are now officially considered antiques by car collectors. It was the first year that Ford produced the now-classic Mustang.

Now, does this mean the antique show itself is becoming an antique?

Maybe not, but there’s certainly some planning afoot to refurbish some aspects of the annual event—which is presented by the Cutchogue-New Suffolk Historical Council—to sweep away some dust and blow away some cobwebs.

“There’s a sense that antiques shows in general need some ‘fluffing-up’,” says Zach Studenroth, the director of the Cutchogue-New Suffolk Historical Council. “So, we’re redefining ours somewhat.” Don’t worry, antiquing enthusiasts: there will still, of course, be top antique vendors from all over Long Island and New England. There will be the standard assortment of those restored, antique cars for car enthusiasts to admire. But in addition to that, for the first time there will be local artisanal food producers providing samples of their wares. Studenroth refers to this new part of the show as “specialty foods of the North Fork,” and he’s quite excited about it.

At the Cutchogue Antique Show
At the Cutchogue Antique Show, Photo: Graham Glover, Cutchogue-New Suffolk Historical Council

Studenroth points out that so many people are attracted to the North Fork for the agricultural atmosphere and for the local, artisanal food, and that it makes perfect sense to tie food culture into Cutchogue history. Indeed, Cutchogue has a special distinction in this regard.

“I don’t know how people figured this out, but they say Cutchogue is the sunniest place in New York State,” says Studenroth. “It’s always been a great place to grow food.” By combining historic antiques with purveyors who are continuing Cutchogue’s long history of food production, the Historical Council will have a “win-win.” At press time, Studenroth was continuing to lock in specific foodie attractions, and among those tentatively slated are a local honey producer, a local goat cheese maker, a condiment producer and a sea salt company.

Since the samples will provide just an appetizer, the Historical Council is also bringing more substantial food. This is another area in which Studentroth felt that the North Fork’s evolution into a foodie destination meant that the Historical Council needed to rethink their approach. “Whereas in past years we’ve had just your regular hamburgers and hot dogs, we decided to step that part up a bit,” notes Studenroth. They’re bringing in a local barbeque company to offer real, wood-smoked barbeque from a portable smoker.

At the Cutchogue Antique Show
Photo: Graham Glover, Cutchogue-New Suffolk Historical Council

For the duration of the Antique Show and Sale, the grounds of the Cutchogue-New Suffolk Historical Council, which stand on either side of Case’s Lane in Cutchogue, will also be open for exploration. This includes the Old House, a 17th-century structure, which will have costumed guides leading tours throughout the day—a real treat for the kids. Speaking of kids, they’ll also love the pony rides. It should be easier to sell the younger ones on the idea of a colonial house tour and a pony ride than on the idea of tagging along to look at a lot of old furniture! So, while Mom happily searches through antique treasures, the kids will have plenty of things to entertain them.

The 50th Cutchogue Antique Show and Sale is July 5 at the Cutchogue-New Suffolk Historical Council on Case’s Lane, Cutchogue. Open for regular admission 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Regular admission $5. Early-bird admission, 7:30–9 a.m., is $10. Call 631-734-7122 for more information.

At the Cutchogue Antique Show
At the Cutchogue Antique Show, Photo: Graham Glover, Cutchogue-New Suffolk Historical Council
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