It’s game time for the serious Breyer model horse collector! With the ultimate event for Breyer lovers just under two months away, Breyerfest requires some strategic planning. Those of you who are veteran collectors know exactly what I mean. Others, who are new to collecting, may be wondering why in the world do you need an action plan for a festival?
The short answer is collecting is a business for many of us and we are on the hunt to add to our herd, get our hands on all of the special runs that we can only get as a 3 day ticket holder, collect as many freebies as we can (like magnets, collector’s cards, programs, flyers, posters, pins, bags, etc.), get autographs on our models, get the store specials, see all the vendors, search for our Holy Grail, set up deals and trades with other festival goers and more. I’m exhausted just writing all of that! Not to mention catching a seminar, workshop, volunteering, watching the shows in the Covered Arena, visiting the horse park, attending the auction and the Celebration of Horses show on Friday or Saturday night and so on.
Welcome to Breyerfest 2019! This is a special year as we will be celebrating 30 years of festivals held at the Kentucky Horse Park. It is quite a milestone for Breyer and I am sure there are many awesome surprises in store for all attendees. Since the theme is Horse Heroes, I suggest you put on your cape and call upon your superhero powers to get you through BF’19! I am going to help you right now with a list of “must dos.”
- Plan on attending the Clarion for Breyerfest After Dark all three nights, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. This is where you will find great deals, meet wonderful people, see some of the special ticket models for sale and maybe find your Holy Grail! Just pace yourself and plan on having no rhyme or reason to the layout of this hotel. Just start down any corridor and go in each room to look around! It’s really fun. You’ll get lost…I do every year (all 11 of them), but no worries!
- Buy your raffle tickets for Saturday and Sunday in the Covered Arena at the Breyer table. Bring small labels with your name and state on them to stick to the back of your ticket entries (saves so much time). I have won three raffle horses and I only spend $20 for each day’s raffle, but you buy what you wish. It’s all for a good cause.
- Visit all of the vendors in the Covered Arena, but I find the prices better at the Clarion….shhhhhhh. As you are walking around you can catch glimpses of what’s going on in the arena.
- On Friday, plan on picking up your Celebration Model (3 day ticket holders) at the end of the day before leaving the park. The line will be gone and you can go right to your car and put them away.
- First thing Friday morning, get a program or two from the Help Desk upon entering the park. Also, if you are a single day ticket holder, pick up your free Stablemates. Look for freebies on the table and take what you like (you will be limited to one per person). Bring a bag to put all of your goodies in!
- Open your program and check out the schedule for any models you want autographed. Plan on your times and if you have more than one model to get signed of the same horse, bring someone with you because it’s one autograph per person per model (in other words, you cannot hold two models and get both signed yourself). Bring a knife or pair of scissors so you can open the box easily and cut the tape beneath the model’s hooves and open the flaps so it can be easily signed. There is no need to remove the model from its box. Get in line early as only 200 people will receive a ticket to get their model signed. A great day to get your models signed is on Sunday because it tends to be a lighter volume day. All the last minute people or people in the know!
- Check the times for any seminars you want to attend in the Visitor’s Center and plan accordingly. Many, many times, I can never make these!
- Check your Special Run tickets with their times and be prepared to arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled time. You will line up by number. Breyer will pull a random number to start with and then will ask everyone to line up properly. Wear sunscreen as you may be standing in the sun. Give your bags to someone else to hold or check them at the bag check-in (this is great for checking your bags and then picking them up later). If you need an extra ticket, many people will be selling them and if you have an extra ticket, sell it!
- Visit the Special Pop Up Stores this year, usually located by the Arts & Crafts Tent, for many special items. Check your program for a complete list and mark what you want to get. If you can visit this tent early in the day, do it! On Friday they hand out numbers to the first maybe 300 guests who get in line for the tent and by the time you get there, nothing is left. Plan on early Saturday morning or Sunday morning for this. Each day they put out a certain number of items, so if what you want isn’t there on Friday, it may be there on Saturday. Just keep checking or you can give money to a person in line to buy things for you, however, Breyer has a one per person rule including the plush animal. My suggestion is to pick a kid in line with his or her parents and stay with them until they deliver the loot. Maybe you can return the favor!
- Plan a trip to the Breyer store if you are after some special models that are only available there. They tend to sell out early each day. If you can do this on Friday, get it done so you can get your models signed if you want.
- Make sure if you are a Collector’s Club Member to stop and rest at the Collector’s Club Tent usually just after the Help Desk on the right, outside the Covered Arena. Grab a cool drink, have a seat, make some friends, put your bags down, check out the models on display and read a magazine. I usually stop here two or three times each day and have a bottle water.
- If you are loaded down, check your bags at the bag check tent and pick them up later.
- On Sunday, you can plan on catching the shows you’ve missed in the Covered Arena. I usually keep my Sunday for sitting in the arena and last minute autographs and tent store visits. I go hard Friday and Saturday.
- Be present for the raffle on Saturday and Sunday. You must be present to win! Don’t miss this if you purchased raffle tickets. Good luck!
Please have fun! There’s so much to see and do. If you want to see a great show in the KHP, go see Parade of Breeds. Rent a golf cart for the day and ride all over the park. If you need to cool down, go to the Visitor Center or one of the museums. Catch a Polo match on your way out one night if they are playing.
Print this blog if you want to and consult your program on Thursday night to map out a plan. It won’t work perfectly, but you’ll be surprised how much you can get done in three days. I hope these tips help you have a fantastic time at the festival. Happy collecting!