Ever wonder what happens to campaign swag after election day? Some of it is thrown away, but a lot finds a home with collectors of political memorabilia.
Collectors of campaign buttons, posters and flags are in Springfield this week at the national convention of the American Political Items Collectors.
Co-organizer Bob Atwater says there’s something for everyone.
“We like winners as well as losers and third-party candidates. We like presidential items, but a lot of collectors also collect local items,” he said. “To us, each of these pieces is a piece of history.”
Organizers are expecting collectors from across the U.S., with memorabilia from the campaigns of President Washington through President Trump and everything in between. And it’s not just buttons and signs.
“They’ve used almost everything you can think of to promote their candidates. You’ll find ribbons, flags, bumper stickers. We’ll have an authors’ table, we’ll have books,” says co-organizer Steve Henry.
Some items will be up for sale. Visitors can also bring their own memorabilia to be appraised and put up for auction.
The convention is open to the public free of charge Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It’s in the Crown Plaza Hotel on Dirksen Parkway in Springfield.