Everyone knows people who collect things; this is a nation of collectors. Just check out the hobby section of a bookstore or walking through a flea market will attest to the varied subjects that make up collectibles.

The Maine Tri-County Button Show and Sale will be held Saturday, Oct. 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the fellowship hall of the Belfast United Methodist Church, 23 Mill Lane, Belfast. Admission is free.

Collecting antique buttons is no different than collecting hummel figurines or Hummers. The big advantage of buttons over other collectibles is that they are smaller and a lot less expensive. Buttons are practical as well. Ordinary plastic buttons on clothing can be replaced with Mother of Pearl, china, glass, carved ivory and various metals. Crafters use buttons in many creative ways. Button factories often sprang up near textile centers. Waldoboro once had a thriving factory, producing Mother of Pearl in the early 20th century and converted to plastics before closing in the early 1990s. Ceramic studio buttons are now being made by local potters as the demand has increased from the resurgence of another hobby, knitting.

The event will feature raffles, coffee, snacks and many, many buttons. This year's feature display is entitled "Beginning with Buttons: How to collect, organize and mount your collection." A booklet of compiled helpful hints to assist the new collector getting started in the hobby will be given to the first eight people to join the Maine Tri-County Button Club. The club meets the last Wedneday of the month, March-September.

For more information, go to mainetri-countybuttonclub.com or email Nancy at windynancy@roadrunner.com.