To everyone's delight, they're returning to the Golden State. More specifically, they'll be in Santa Clara at the Convention Center on June 7.
I'm talking about the cast and crew of the PBS series "Antiques Roadshow."
Ever since the 2014 national tour was announced nearly two weeks ago, fans in our neck of the woods have been abuzz about the possibility of taking part in this roving history lesson. For legions of buffs, getting to meet the appraisers -- on or off the "Antiques Roadshow" set -- is considered a rite of passage.
At a recent program I gave in the East Bay, devotees of the hit series asked one question more than any other. The crowd wanted to know if the "blond treasure twins" -- appraisers Leslie and Leigh Keno -- will attend the festivities.
Kathryn Hathaway, my contact at WGBH in Boston, says a list of the appraisers for the tour has yet to be finalized. Once I have an update, I'll share the news.
For details about the tour and to apply for tickets, go to www.pbs.org and follow the "Antiques Roadshow" link. Winners are selected at random. April 7 is the deadline for your application, but don't delay. Do it now. You can apply only once.
Once selected, ticket holders need to figure out what antiques or collectibles they will bring to the show. They are required to bring at least one item for appraisal, but no more than two. If you have a piece of furniture that you would like to be considered for evaluation, there's a separate request form. The large objects chosen are transported at no cost from within a 50-mile radius of Santa Clara.
For the record, the cities on the tour are Bismarck, N.D., on May 31; then Santa Clara; followed by Birmingham, Ala.; Austin, Texas; Albuquerque, N.M.; Chicago; New York; and finally, Charleston, W.Va., on Aug. 16. The programs from these cities will air in 2015.
A special show
For the most part, I'm an old-fashioned collector: I prefer pursuing treasures in person, not online. I have an inkling that I've got quite a bit of company.
And I can only assume it's one of the chief reasons why so many folks from around the Bay Area head to the annual St. Christopher Ladies' Guild Antiques Show and Sale in San Jose. The annual bash, now in its 44th year, takes place Jan. 31 and Feb. 1-2.
It takes a village to put on this extravaganza. Luckily, a dedicated and astute group of organizers sees to it that a diverse mix of sellers and goods are on parade.
As always, fewer than 25 dealers are invited to display their wares. That's plenty for me. I've always felt the intimate size of this show is yet another part of its allure.
Among the vendors at this year's event will be Martha Bedford, of Sunnyvale. Her space surely will boast a big selection of fairly priced glass, linens, swell kitchen paraphernalia, silver and picture frames.
Many of the most elegant offerings will probably be in the booths of Keith Kinkade and Mark Peterson, Jim Dyer and Eduardo Massa. These San Jose sellers are known for carrying superior porcelains, art glass, silver and such.
You'll be mesmerized by the fantastic posters up for grabs from Vintage European Posters of Berkeley. Two dealers -- Vicki Cirner and Carol Robichaud -- seem to always feature a bunch of sweet Valentines. If you want coins, see Sal and Barbara Falcone, legends in the antiques trade.
I have word that San Jose-based jewelry maven Barbara Kiltz had added 1,000 or so vintage pieces of costume jewelry to her already impressive stock.
And make sure you ogle the estate jewelry shown by veteran merchants Pat and Manuel Lopez, from Benicia.
Once you're finished shopping, it's time to eat. Veteran showgoers know the food includes to-die-for Italian fare: lasagna, pepper steak sandwiches and fried calamari. Since the theme of this year's show is "A Passport to Paris," diners will also find chicken cordon bleu on the bill of fare.
I will be at the show all three days. Please drop by so I can wish you a happy new year. I'm there Jan. 31 from 1 to 3 p.m. On Feb. 1, I'll deliver a program at 1 p.m. titled "Dating Our Treasures." On Feb. 2 from 10 to 11 a.m., I'll offer evaluations of your heirlooms and garage sale finds. A $10 donation is requested. To reserve a spot, email email@example.com. Afterward, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., I'll appraise one item per visitor free of charge.
Be sure to check out the Pavilion Tent, where there's a garden shop and a boutique selling handcrafted items. I never miss going to the pantry where cakes, jams, pies, and brownies are sold along with pizzelles, which are Italian waffle cookies.
St. Christopher's is at 2278 Booksin Ave. in San Jose. Hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. on Jan. 31-Feb. 1. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Feb. 2. Admission: $5. No strollers allowed. For details, call Holly Walsh at 408-656-9110, or go to www.stchrisantiqueshow.com.
Proceeds benefit St. Christopher's parish, school and community outreach programs.
Oakland preview sale
Another worthwhile place to look for antiques and all manner of collectibles is utterly grand in size. It's the Oakland Museum Women's Board White Elephant Sale, and it takes place Sunday.
This gargantuan rummage sale is actually a preview of the "real thing," which will be held March 1-2.
The merchandise -- all of it donated to benefit the Oakland Museum of California -- is always wonderfully organized and displayed. Upon entering a 96,000-square-foot building, customers are directed by overhead signs to furniture, paintings, books, jewelry, clothes, sporting goods, china, tools, garden and kitchen goodies, plus tons more.
Even though the sale occurs near the Fruitvale BART station and a free shuttle service is provided, folks tend to drive their own cars. Be forewarned if you do: Parking is very tight.
No matter how you get there, make sure to wear shoes with good support. Above all, remain patient. There will be lines. Any wait is worth it.
The 55th annual sale is at 333 Lancaster St., Oakland. Hours for Sunday's preview sale are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission: $20. Children younger than 12 may attend free when accompanied by an adult. Details: 510-536-6800 or www.whiteelephantsale.org.
Contact Steven Yvaska at firstname.lastname@example.org or 750 Ridder Park Drive, San Jose, CA 95190.