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For 'Pez Heads', Orange is hallowed ground

Pez collector’s show returns to Orange after decades.

ORANGE, Conn — Just about two minutes away from the American headquarters of Pez Candy, the Northeast Pez Collector’s Convention is happening. For collectors, known as “Pez Heads”, being close to the company makes the show extra special.

"It’s a perfect place to hold a convention right around the corner from the Pez Visitors Center," said Richie Belyski, the convention host and publisher of “Pez Collector News”.

With hundreds of his Pez dispensers on display to sell or trade, Shawn Peterson, an avid collector who is also the "direct to consumer business manager" at Pez said, “Pez is life, it’s kind of turned into that, anyway.” He added, “We have got (collectors from) Canada, California, and all parts in between. There are people from Florida, the Midwest, and certainly from the Northeast because we are right here.”

Collector Matt Makuch made the trip from Rome, New York, and said he likes the world of Pez because it’s generational. 

“I collect, my wife collects, she’s been collecting as long as I have. Our kids love it, it’s a good family event for us, we just love Pez," said Makuch.

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Peterson said that the most coveted Pez dispensers could fetch prices in the tens of thousands of dollars and that the collectors’ shows are especially about the camaraderie. 

“The brand itself is almost 100 years old so it’s well established, it's iconic, it’s part of American pop culture, it’s definitely a community," said Peterson.

The Northeast Pez Collectors Gathering will hold its main show on May 6, 2023, at the Marriot Courtyard in Orange from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. To find out more, click here

Jimmy Altman is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at jaltman@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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