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The best Fairs / Shows in the World

Article about: As a new year approaches I’m keen to understand where and when our best Fairs and Shows are. To try to narrow the list down, let’s have two categories:- - Best mixed militaria fair - Best ve

  1. #1

    Smile The best Fairs / Shows in the World

    As a new year approaches I’m keen to understand where and when our best Fairs and Shows are. To try to narrow the list down, let’s have two categories:-

    - Best mixed militaria fair

    - Best vehicle show

    From what I read here the vast majority of transactions seem to be undertaken away from such places and I know that the number of such events seems to be in decline…sadly one rarely hears of a totally new Fair / Show on the scene but they often represent the largest non-internet opportunity to meet folk, learn and share, touch and smell stuff we want to buy (or simply just wanna see). I hear / read about these around the world….Show of Shows, Saumur’s vehicle show, Ciney, Kubinka’s open days etc..but what’s your country’s best two and tell us a bit about them…….

    So, I’m walking to the Travel Agent….where do I buy a ticket to?

    Oh, and tell me WHY, travel tips etc…(although I expect it won’t be long before the "OWP" [One-Word-Post] Brigade turn up…but they won’t read all this before responding anyway :-) )

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  3. #2


    I’ll kick off…..the case for the UK…….

    ……my own view is that whilst there’s still a number of great events here, these titles are held by the War and Peace Show (Kent - July) and “Tankfest” at Bovington Tank Museum (Dorset – June)…..although W&P get’s enough vehicles to make it a contender for both!

    I wish I could advise travellers that getting to these event is straightforward but as with most such events, they’re both “in the middle of nowhere” (‘apologies to residents of Paddock Wood and Bere Regis!)…you can’t really step off a hi-speed train or get a cab from the airport and walk in….but plenty of folk manage to get there, presumably by car mostly.

    W&P continues to be a lot of everything…..uniforms, ordinance, badges, helmets, bayonets and loads of vehicles which runs for 5 days in fields in sunny (sometime!) Kent whilst “Tankfest” is….errrrr…..mainly Tanks…but WHAT tanks!

    I’d advise any visitors to the UK to attend both…although last year it felt like every one of them actually DID attend “Tankfest”!)…..go on Day 1 and get there early ready for the doors to open…..simply to get a tiny bit of “me time” – these things are well attended! “But what if it rains?” I hear you cry…. perhaps that should be “when” and not “if”…….well, if you’re at W&P your best bet is to take boots and find some friendly dealers who’s stalls you can shelter under…or simply pretend you’re interested in WW1 Cooking Utensils, dug-up tank parts or current French camo! “Tankfest” is easier…there’s a whole museum (inside) to wander around until the weather changes.

    The key selling points (for me)? ……..W&P attracts the most overseas traders….it’s great to see new kit, different people and benefit from pricing variations…and the number of stalls is unmatched in the UK. “Tankfest” always tries to get something new out and running or, as they did this year, shipped in from other places and it’s sponsorship from “World of Tanks” has brought benefits (although it never ceases to amaze me why one would travel to perhaps the largest collection of Tanks in the world and sit in a large shed “playing” with them on a screen whilst the real things are rumbling past outside less than 100m away…but I’m old)

    Put simply, if the lil’ lady says “let’s go to England next year and catch a Show”…….come in June and/or July…it won’t be sunny (even tho its Summer)…it won’t be cheap (it never is)…but there’s two great Shows to attend (and they ain’t Les Mis or Cats!)

    PS It’s “Militaria 2018” in January…’s good too!

  4. #3


    i second that for Tankfest - it's an awesome show. They have built a mini arena where they parade all the working tanks around including Tiger 131 assuming they have no technical problems. The last time I went they also have a WW1 display with aircraft as well.
    Plenty to see outside the arena including the actual museum itself. You could easily spend 2 days there.
    Also - I believe you can get advance tickets to save on queuing.

  5. #4


    Highly recommend Annual Ciney & the Militaria Fayre at La Gleize in Belgium.

  6. #5


    The War and Peace Show is always the highlight of my collecting year. Considering most of the other large militaria fairs are way up north, it's about the only one that's easy for me to get to.
    The atmosphere there is absolutely fantastic. Everybody is there to enjoy the same thing, and it's a great place to be as a result.
    Ciney is one I've always wanted to check out, but a bit too far afield for me as a non-driver.

    ''Everyday you think of living. We are born to die, but I appreciate life. We live day by day, and I always say: yesterday is history, today's reality, and tomorrow's a dream.' -- Henry Flescher, Holocaust Survivor -- March 14, 1924 - August 29, 2018

  7. #6


    I hardly do visit militaria-shows in the last years.
    For me the November/December show at Kassel is okay to go to.
    Most shows I consider as lousy, inconvenient flea-markets and
    so I will not visit Ciney and LaGleize. Not even to meet friends.
    If there is a need then I go to Houten and Duiven in the Netherlands.
    Both indoors. Just my personal opinion!

    And in my backyard the annual "Militracks" at Overloon, is a show
    to go there for various reasons: military vehicles and meeting
    friends/dealers I know for 30-40 years. And if the weather is okay
    it is an annual must for me! Great, as it is all situated in the woods
    around the Overloon-museum. Over 10,000 visitors. In 2018 it is
    planned Saturday May 19 and Sunday May 20.

    The best Fairs / Shows in the World

    The best Fairs / Shows in the World

    The best Fairs / Shows in the World
    Last edited by Wilhelm Saris; 12-20-2017 at 01:26 PM.

  8. #7


    I attend the W&P show despite the horrendous traffic queues surrounding the entrance. Once inside the layout is vast, and as been said before you really need a couple of days to take it all in. However, depending on what your interests are it can be difficult obtaining some authentic items (I know it is with German lids).
    I like Military Odyssey a 3 day event in late August, also near Maidstone and easy access by car, not quite as large as W&P but more manageable and 'when it rains' there is a large indoor area (stalls).
    Chatham Militeria is worth a consideration, smaller then both the above and just stalls but it is a monthly event and indoors.

  9. #8


    Stonleigh show used to be good, but last couple of years the stalls have gone silly money and lots of post '45 fake crap there.

  10. #9


    Militracks and Duxford Flying Legends are my favourite

    "In all my years as a soldier, I have never seen men fight so hard." - SS Obergruppenfuhrer Wilhelm Bittrich - Arnhem

  11. #10


    The W&P Show is my yearly vacation and I stay there for the whole week, so when I have enough 'green stuff' I can just relax and read a book for a few hours without feeling rushed. The only time I noticed the traffic jam is during my mid-week supply run to the village.

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