Mimi Parrott explained how much she loves the annual Aiken Center for the Arts' Antiques in the Heart of Aiken event while she studied antique pieces of silverware at one of the booths.

“This is wonderful silverware, and I always look forward to coming to this booth when I attend the show,” Parrott said.

The particular pieces of silverware Parrott was looking at are owned and sold by Kathy Tobler, a merchant from Granbury, Texas. Tobler is one of the lead organizers of the event and always includes Aiken in her yearly travels.

“It's a lovely place filled with great people to do business with,” Tobler said. “The people – and that goes for the people we work with, those that are part of the historic district and the customers – are all wonderful.”

The event includes more than 20 vendors from various states including Texas, North Carolina and Virginia. Vendors set up booths and sell a variety of items including animal-crafted statues, pottery pieces, sculptures and various other items.

One of those vendors is Tim Buchanan, who is attending the show for a fifth straight year. Hailing from North Carolina, Buchanan's company engraves items by hand, and he has become a loyal merchant at the annual event.

“I do about six shows a year, and I always pick Aiken because of the quality of the show,” he said. “The dealers, customers and merchandise are all great parts of the show and make it worth the trip.”

Local resident Holly Crowe said she has been attending the event since it first started 14 years ago.

“I try to come every year to support the great job they do,” Crowe said. “It's a fun event, and I always find new, interesting items every year that I didn't see the year before.”

The antique event will continue today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $10 for a full day, and the event is held at the Aiken Center for the Arts located at 122 Laurens St.

Derrek Asberry is a beat reporter with the Aiken Standard. He joined the paper in June. He is originally from Vidalia, Ga., and a graduate of Georgia Southern University. Follow him on Twitter @DerrekAsberry.