Spring has finally arrived in earnest: the flowers are blooming, the birds are singing, and the Barrington Country Garden & Antique Faire will soon hold its highly-anticipated 14th annual event on June 13 & 14. This feast for the senses is your key to three luxury Barrington estates, where you’ll delight in lush gardens, shop for sought-after furniture and accessories, and savor delectable food. And with every purchase you make, you’ll empower Hands of Hope to improve lives in sub-Saharan Africa. It’s a true win-win, wouldn’t you say?

(CLICK HERE to purchase tickets now.)

So grab your mom, sisters, friends or all-of-the-above and make your way to the Faire!

A lovely scene from the Barrington Country Garden & Antique Faire - Photo courtesy of John Staab
A lovely scene from the Barrington Country Garden & Antique Faire – Photo courtesy of John Staab and The Brickman Group

In the Garden Faire’s thirteen-year history, nearly $4 million has been raised by attendees and donors. Hands of Hope, which is a 100% volunteer-run organization, has used every cent to improve the lives of the impoverished in Southern Sudan, Uganda, Congo, Rwanda, Zambia, and Nigeria. The organization focuses on ensuring access to education and health care, establishing wells, improving agricultural practices, and providing micro loans to aid in business growth. (You can read more about past and current Hands of Hope projects here.)

Sandy Bollenbacher, who is in her sixth year co-chairing the event (and her third year with co-chair Starr Shum), can’t wait for this year’s Faire: “We have gorgeous accessories, and we’re focusing on repurposing and reusing beautiful pieces of furniture.” Look for these items in the Avant Garden, the upscale flea market where you’re likely to find your new favorite furniture and accessories. Sandy highly recommends the Early Buy ticket for serious shoppers: “You pay a bit more, but you get first crack at the shopping. It’s so worth it – don’t forget your checkbook!”

The Garden Faire’s French Market will showcase the wares of 20 outside vendors, and the Farmhouse will be staged by Junk Warehouse of Lake Barrington, local experts at breathing new life into well-loved pieces. New to the Faire this year is the Boutique. Located in its own quaint cottage on the main Faire grounds, the Boutique will feature jewelry, purses, scarves, dolls and other fashion and home accessory items.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Faire also features many Garden Party Vignettes, which are chock full of gorgeous decor and inspiration. And you can do more than just admire the fabulous designs: you can also chat with the professional Vignette designers and gather great entertaining tips.

Starr Shum, co-chair of this year’s Garden Faire, can’t wait to see the designers’ creativity in action. She says that Celeste Jackson will design a romantic “Herb-Inspired Bridal Shower for Juliette”;  Toms-Price will create a French-themed “Salle de Soliel”; Michelle D’Arcy of Horticultural Associates will stage a “Midsummer’s Dream” in the garden; and Lori Lennon will transform the main garden’s signature gazebo.

Event planner Christina Currie of Christina Currie Events has created an Enchanted Garden Wedding Vignette for the Greenhouse, and it sounds downright dreamy. “It will be filled with white orchids and crystal chandeliers–it’ll be stunning,” Christina says. “It’s an amazing event – bring your mothers, daughters, cousins, and girlfriends. Make a day (or two) of it!”

[Thanks to the Faire’s generous ticket policy, you can pay once (just $45 through June 8th, $55 June 9th and after) and attend both days of this two-day event. Feel free to return to just one garden, or revisit them all – the continuously operating shuttles let you design your own itinerary.]

Christina Currie Events will create a wedding-themed Garden Party Vignette for this year's event - Photographed by Julie Linnekin
Christina Currie Events will create a wedding-themed Garden Party Vignette for this year’s event – Photographed by Julie Linnekin

In addition to these wonderful shopping opportunities, Faire attendees can attend a variety of workshops offered throughout the event. (And what a fabulous deal: any one of these workshops would normally cost more than the price of admission to the fair.) Here are this year’s featured presenters:

“Floral Inspiration” with Glen Egeland, Barrington Flower Shop: Friday and Saturday, 12:30 p.m.
Glen Egeland, owner of Barrington Flower Shop, will share his expertise and advice on how to use personal inspiration to create your own fabulous floral arrangements.

“Rescue, Restore, Redecorate with Style” with Debra Phillips, SG Geneva (aka Scentimental Gardens): Friday and Saturday, 2:00 p.m.
Debra Phillips, Master Gardener and owner of SG Geneva, will teach guests how to transform old, outdated furniture, lighting, mirrors and accessories into upscale design elements by using the Amy Howard at Home One Step Paint process – no stripping, no sanding, no priming – just beautiful new home décor to grace your home!

“Summer Salad Surprises” with Kelly Donlea, Organizing Dinner: Friday and Saturday, Ongoing, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Kelly Donlea, chef, author and owner of Organizing Dinner, will hold ongoing demonstrations incorporating a variety of summer garden vegetables into deliciously easy salads to sample and savor.

“Take a Walk on the Wild Side” with Ron Zick, Wild Birds Unlimited: Friday and Saturday, 11:00 a.m. & 3:15 p.m.
Join Ron Zick, owner of Wild Birds Unlimited, on a behind-the-scenes tour to explore the special wild bird habitat of the English Garden property.

If you make the most of the event, you’ll undoubtedly need refreshments along the way. You can look forward to delectable pastries prepared by Ambrosia Euro American Patisserie (who has loyally partnered with the Faire since its inception) and delicious lunch options provided by Barrington’s Egg Harbor Café.

Over 400 volunteers make the Garden Faire a success each year - Photo courtesy of Laura Scoville Ekstrom
Over 400 volunteers make the Garden Faire a success each year – Photo courtesy of Laura Scoville Ekstrom

Volunteering is another wonderful way to experience the Garden Faire, and volunteers of all ages are essential to the Faire’s success. More than 400 volunteers, many of whom will work their 14th Faire this year, join together to make the Faire a reality. “Some work half a day, others work two full days – and all are appreciated immensely,” says Sandy Bollenbacher.

Starr Shum says the Faire volunteers form a sort of sisterhood. “What’s really neat about Hands of Hope is that it attracts people from a lot of different Chicago metro areas; it reaches well beyond Barrington.” Volunteers are still needed, and receive a great perk: free Garden Faire attendance. (To volunteer in the Avant Garden, please click here. If you’d like to sign up as a general Garden Faire volunteer, please click here.)

Vicky Wauterlek hopes you’ll come and enjoy this year’s Faire. “People say there’s no other experience like it: It combines antiques and vintage, shopping and dining in the most beautiful settings. And the money you spend goes directly to the people we’re helping in Africa.”

Tickets for the event, which will take place on June 13 & 14 from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m., are $45 through June 8, $55 June 9 and after. Early Buy tickets are available for $80, and give you access to shop the French Market and Avant Garden before the Garden Faire opens! Tickets may be purchased online through June 11, and will also be available for purchase at the door. All tickets will be held at the door.

Free remote parking and shuttle service is available both days. On Friday, you can park and shuttle from Barrington High School, 616 W. Main Street, and across the street from the high school at 800 Hart Road. On Saturday, parking and shuttle service is available at 800 Hart Road only. The complimentary shuttle departs every 15 minutes. For the Early Buy option, there will be a special shuttle and entrance to the main Faire grounds on Friday morning only, between 8:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.

We hope to see you at the Faire!

Post - Hands of Hope LogoBarrington Country Garden & Antique Faire

Friday & Saturday
June 13 & 14, 2014

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Early Buy, Friday Only, beginning 8:30 a.m.

Call 847-381-7367 for more information.

Purchase tickets for the event here.


We would like to welcome Hands of Hope as the latest member to join our Marketplace here at 365Barrington.com.

CLICK HERE to read Hands of Hope’s feature page at 365Barrington.com.  To follow the latest members to join our Marketplace, visit 365Barrington.com/Buzz. And if you’d like to become a featured member of our Marketplace, visit 365Barrington.com/Advertise/.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest from Blog