Brandon Vanderver’s fourth annual American Indian Artifact Show at the Owensboro Convention Center this weekend will be the largest artifacts show in the country this year, he said Tuesday.

“We were the second-largest,” he said. “And then, the largest got canceled back in March.”

He’s expecting between 100 and 125 vendors from as far away as Texas, Missouri, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and a few other states.

The show that starts Friday and runs through Sunday would have been larger, Vanderver said, if the coronavirus pandemic hadn’t hit.

“I’m having to put in wider aisles this year,” he said. “I won’t have room for as many tables.”

Last year, there were more than 400 tables.

This year, Vanderver expects about 300.

Some people come just to see the artifacts — arrowheads, axe heads and other things used by native Americans — that date back thousands of years.

In the past, some have been at least 12,000 years old.

Others come to buy, sell or trade, Vanderver said.

Some of the artifacts are valued in the six figures, he said.

Notes From The Frontier, a site for collectors, says, “The most valuable arrowhead found to date in North America, the Rutz Clovis Point, is almost ten inches long and carved of sea green obsidian. It was found in a wheat field in Washington State in 1950. It was sold at auction in 2013 for $276,000. It is estimated to be about 13,000 years old.”

Vanderver has been a collector for about 25 years.

He said his father and grandfather were collectors and he learned from them.

The number of collectors today is about the same as it was then, Vanderver said.

“There are fewer younger collectors today,” he said. “People seem to wait until they’re older to get interested.”

Some vendors will also be selling coins, knives, fossils, jewelry and other collectibles.

The show is free.

Vanderver said he used to attend the Indian Artifacts Show that Kathy Pohl Finley of Cannelton, Indiana, had at the Executive Inn Rivermont for 28 years.

But the Executive Inn closed in 2008.

When the convention center opened six years ago, Vanderver decided it was time to bring an artifact show back to town.

“It’s a great facility,” he said. “It’s good for shows like this.”

Hours are from noon to 6 p.m. on Friday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and from 8 to 11 a.m. on Sunday.

People who attend the show will have to wear masks to comply with state mandates.

Keith Lawrence 270-691-7301

Keith Lawrence 270-691-7301

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