Family heirlooms and sentimental keepsakes will all be welcome when the Finney County Historical Society conducts the 2014 Southwest Kansas Antiques Appraisal Fair early next month.

Styled like a live and local version of the popular "Antiques Road Show" program on PBS, the event will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 8 in the 4-H Building at the Finney County Fairgrounds.

Participants will be able to bring items for evaluation by a panel of appraisers, made up of collectors, dealers and others with expertise in antiques and special interest objects.

All kinds of items

Evaluations will be conducted before the audience one by one throughout the all-day show for a wide range of objects. While we can't offer appraisals for coins, fine jewelry or firearms, the fair can accept:

* Glassware

* Pottery

* Porcelain

* Commercial advertising items

* Sports memorabilia

* Lamps

* Vintage clothing

* Quilts

* Prints

* Costume jewelry

* Furniture

* Holiday decorations

* Toys and additional collectibles.

No artifacts will be bought or sold, but the appraisal team will offer a non-binding verbal estimate of value for each item. Proceeds will benefit the Finney County Museum and historical society, which is a nonprofit organization.

Admission and registration

Admission is $5 each for spectators or $10 per item for anyone with objects to appraise. Admission and appraisal tickets will be on sale at the door, as well as in advance at the museum, 403 S. Fourth in Finnup Park. We expect to have them available no later than Jan. 25, and appraisal tickets include admission.

Advance appraisal registration is suggested by Feb. 5, and items registered in advance will receive priority. Appraisals will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis, and they're limited to three per person, as well as to the capacity of the show.

CVB and other sponsors

The fair is backed by the Finney County Convention and Visitors Bureau and a number of individual and business sponsors. Major sponsors, in addition to the CVB, include:

* American Warrior, Inc.

* Brookover Feed Yards

* Phoenix Restoration Services

* Steve and Rhonda Stone

* Homestead Assisted Living

* Oswalt Appraisals

* Golden Plains Credit Union

Additional sponsors include John and Angelica Chappel, Coldwell Banker-The Real Estate Shoppe, Carole Corley and Dale Gabel, Garnand Funeral Home, Cheryl and Frank Schmale, Unger's Heating and Air Conditioning, Neil Hawley Agency-American Family Insurance, and the Garden City Community College Continuing Education Program.

The college also will staff a booth throughout the fair, offering free information on classes for personal enrichment, job skills and professional development.

Information and additional sponsorship opportunities for the big day are available by visiting the museum or calling 272-3664.

In addition to the Feb. 8 event at the 4-H Building, it's important to note that the museum will be closed Monday in observance of the holiday honoring the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; and that you're welcome to stop in this weekend or next week to see our latest exhibit in the Front Door Gallery, "The Theaters of Main Street." Exhibit hours are 1 to 5 p.m.

Day of Discovery

First staged in the fall of 2012, the second appraisal fair next month will incorporate a series of enhancements, including:

* On-site meals sold by caterer-vendor Robert Hahn

* Extended hours and a mid-day lunch break

* Live video projection of items being evaluated.

The mission of the Finney County Historical Society involves preservation of the past to enlighten the future, and we're counting on this upcoming live event to help us raise funds for carrying out endeavors in education, research and collections not to mention the ongoing exhibits we offer for the public at no charge.

We're also counting on a day of fun and discovery for everyone who comes, so don't forget to pack up Grandma's pie plate, Aunt Martha's patchwork quilt or that pearl-handled pocket knife handed down by Great Uncle Wilbur, and head out to the Finney County 4-H Building Feb. 8 for the Southwest Kansas Antiques Appraisal Fair.