No, really. Fiesta Dinnerware is like a party on your dining room table. The colors! The shapes! It is way better than any boring old dinnerware that you are used to. You know what else is neat?? That this awesome fun dinnerware is made by a (kind of) local company!
Homer Laughlin China Company
Located in Newell, WV, just a hop skip from Beaver County, is the Homer Laughlin China Company. This company has been making Fiesta Dinnerware since 1936, first producing only the colors red, yellow, cobalt blue, green and ivory.
Today they produce 17 different colors and introduce one new color each year. They retire colors frequently as well, pushing those pieces directly into collector status.
Now, before I was introduce to the Homer Laughlin factory, my interest in Fiesta was limited to browsing Macys without the Mister. You see, not only does he hate shopping and the mall, but he also hates buying things that we “don’t need”, like new dishes because the old dishes are old and boring.
He was a tough sell for all new dinnerware and an even tougher sell when he eyed the price tag. Yikes. My Fiesta dreams were squelched for awhile.. until….
My first Fiestaware tent sale!
The Tent Sale
This magical event happens two times each year – once in the Spring, and once in the Fall. The factory is stocked to the overflow point with their factory seconds – which, the majority of the time, don’t look any different than the delicious boxes of eye candy Fiestaware at Macys, only with a more delicious price tag!
I’m talking really, really delicious price tag. The last tent sale that I attended, I was able to box up a four piece place setting for ten (10!!!) for under $100. If you know the retail prices of these place settings, you know what a terrific deal that was. Nothing makes me giddier than a great deal!
Follow the Rules
There are so many rules and things you need to know about before you check out one of these sales. First and foremost, you need to know that you will wait in line. For a while.
People stand in line for hours before the sale even starts to get a ticket. Tickets give you access to the tent where the sale is actually going on, but there are different waiting “zones”.
You wait for a ticket, then you wait to get into the tent with your ticket… Just be prepared to spend awhile there. It is really worth it though, I promise.
Secondly, since the dinnerware is coming directly from the factory, there is dust. Be sure to pack a towel or rag to wipe off the dust, or if you want to look like a pro, use a sock. You can always tell the serious Fiesta folks. They have socks on their hands and a determined look on their face.
Third, you should go into the sale with a list of what you are looking for. Don’t assume you will wing it when you get there. There are people everywhere, and not all colors are available in all styles, so you should have a Plan A, as well as a Plan B, C, and if you like to be uber prepared, have a Plan D. Just in case!
Finally, you may want to think about how you are going to carry all of your Fiestaware tent sale booty back to your car. You park in the grass and it can be a decent distance from the tent. If you are planning on buying a lot, you may want to bring a strong buddy or a dolly of some kind.
Bring a Friend
Walking back and forth to your car with 50lb boxes of plates doesn’t even sound fun a little bit, but adding in that you have probably waited in line for two hours and whoa buddy. No thanks!
The sale dates for this Spring are June 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st. The tent sale hours are 8:30 am until 7 pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 10 am until 5 pm on Sunday, but as I mentioned.. you might want to get there early. People really do line up hours before the tent opens.
Tickets start being passed out at 7am (9am on Sunday). The outlet is located at 800 Fiesta Drive, Newell WV 26050. If you are using a GPS to get there, use the address Sixth and Harrison Street, Newell WV 26050.
While You’re At It…
On your way to the Homer Laughlin factory, there is another spot you should check out on your way. It is called Hall China Company, and it is located at 1 Anna Street, East Liverpool OH 43920. They also sell some Fiesta products, but have a great selection of their own pieces as well.
I was able to score a bunch of serving bowls there after the Fiesta tent sale for only a couple dollars each. Also available there when I last visited was a Ronald Regan-head teapot. It is the perfect gift for that Republican or jellybean lover in your life. Hopefully they are still making it, although there are rumors it is out of production!
Hope you are able to check out these two spots and you can score some good deals! Happy shopping!!