Jim Dunnavant and his wife, Dorothy Drake, have produced the Doll & Teddy Bear Show for the past 14 years.
“It is a ton of work,” said Dunnavant, who added it feels like a family reunion at every show. “We have come to know the vendors, because we see them several times a year.”
The exhibition will be held this weekend at the Puyallup Fairgrounds and Events Center. It will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $7 for adults and $4 for children younger than 12.
Dunnavant said hardcore collectors can arrive between 8:30 and 10 a.m. Saturday to gain early-bird admission for $9. The price will cover both days.
The show will feature doll identifications with Marshall Martin as seen on Antiques Roadshow and Teddy Bear identification with world-renowned expert John Paul Port. There will be a two-item limit on the identifications.
Pauline Baker will have a group of antique dolls for sale, and doll stringing and repair evaluation will be available.
Visitors can expect to see demonstrations and an international group of high-profile artists, who will share what they do.
Dunnavant said the exhibition might be the largest show on this side of the continent.
“The show is basically designed to bring sellers and collectors together in one venue,” he said. “It encompasses any type of doll or teddy bear that one could imagine, from antique to modern, as well as items that are manufactured or produced or made by artists in the industry.”
The couple produces 16 shows a year, three in Puyallup.
Before the show opens, Dunnavant and Drake will set up 300 tables, and then the vendors come in to prepare.
“This is one of the best events in the country,” Drake said. “It is a friendly, imaginative day that will enchant you for a long time.”
Dunnavant said they intend to keep producing the shows for as long as they are physically able.
“We love the industry,” he said.Joan Cronk is a freelance reporter for the Herald.