Pickers star visits market

Published 11:59 am Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Frank Fritz, star of History channel’s American Pickers, stopped by the Drakes Branch Farmer’s Market on May 26.

“I think they were just headed to a shoot, and he saw the farmer’s market and I’m not sure who was with him,” said Bob Jones an adviser to the market.

“I’m not sure if it was his manager or assistant, but she kind of stayed back and he went in and shopped around the market until somebody realized who he was,”

In March, a press release announced that American Pickers was set to film in Virginia in May, seeking tips from those who have unique antique collections and interesting stories behind them.

American Pickers is a reality television series that premiered in early 2010 on the History channel. The show is produced by A&E Television Networks in collaboration with Cineflix Productions.

Jones said he saw Fritz and went up and talked to him for five minutes, not realizing who he was, telling him how the market worked and if he got something that wasn’t of great quality he could always bring it back.

“He said, ‘Well, I’m from Iowa,’ and I said, ‘Thanks for coming all the way from Iowa to Drakes Branch,’” Jones said. “(Fritz) kind of chuckled a little bit and he said, ‘Yeah, I’ve been on the road.’ He said he may have been to seven states in the last week and a half.”

Jones said after that a few people recognized him and he took some pictures before Fritz’s leaving to go to a film shoot.

“You never know who’s going to be at the farmer’s market in Drakes Branch; y’all need to come on down,” Jones said.

The Drakes Branch Farmers Market is open Fridays and the first Saturday of each month.

“Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz and their team are excited to return to Virginia,” show officials said in a press release. “They plan to film episodes of the hit series American Pickers throughout the region in May.”

According to a press release, the show “is a documentary series that explores the fascinating world of antique ‘picking’ on History. The hit show follows Mike and Frank, two of the most skilled pickers in the business, as they hunt for America’s most valuable antiques. They are always excited to find sizeable, unique collections and learn the interesting stories behind them.”

“As they hit the back roads from coast to coast, Mike and Frank are on a mission to recycle and rescue forgotten relics,” show officials said. “Along the way, the Pickers want to meet characters with remarkable and exceptional items. The pair hopes to give historically significant objects a new lease on life, while learning a thing or two about America’s past along the way.”