Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Freedom Festival July 4, 2011

I wish I could report a great time as I did last year; however, unfortunately I cannot.  The day started out fine.  As we were on our way (a good 45 minute drive) we noticed a haze in the air, an indicator of a high pollutant day.  I was also suffering from a headache/eye-ache that I was hoping would go away as the day progressed.  WE get there and have issues getting into the main area.  I stopped some workers who were hesitant but ultimately let us through.  So we go to set up.  No issues.  Our position gets moved to the front of the row which pretty much put the final nail in our coffin before we even began.  Why?  There was a breeze in the air and not a moderate one.  A fairly strong intermittent breeze.

The festival was a bust! Great vendors, great music, great food...NO PEOPLE.

I spent most of the day retrieving my styrofoam heads and jewelry that kept flying because of the wind.  We got the brunt of all of the wind. We had ample weights but not enough to withstand the strong wind that was coming through.  No one else got it as they were shielded by the buildings.  My husband went to Home Depot to retrieve bricks to help us balance but to no avail.  One of my large heavy frames was blown right off of an easel and the glass shattered.  When the wind died down the air was so still and stifling you could hardly breathe.  I made a few sales but nothing to really call home about. Then it got hotter.  My headache got worse.  I made a few sales but the crowds were very minimal.  Hardly anyone was really making any sales.  By four last year the streets were so congested you couldn't even see the other side.  It was not the case this year.  During my 10 am - 5 pm stay, there was never a rush of people.  Two ladies were sharing next to me.  One lady left around 3 or so, disappointed in the crowds.  The other lady packed up when she saw my hubby and me packing up.  She had really awesome tile decoupaged pendants.  Another vendor had these leather bracelets, rings, and earrings that were just really was a shame that we didn't have the crowds to show off all of our hard work.

A disappointment. The organizer came through when we were packing up and she seemed disappointed. The kicker? My stepdaughter lost my trusty FujiFinepix. I have pictures over two years old of my kids on that and naturally of course no one turned it into the lost and found yet (and I doubt they ever will). The least they could do is lie and say they found the memory card and return that.

That was it for me. I was angry, hot and suffering from a migraine. I didn't care to make any more sales...I wanted out.

Perhaps it was because it was a Monday.  I don't know.  There wasn't as much advertising for it this year as there was last year...maybe people just weren't aware.  The heat and the wind were the worse parts for me but at least I did make some sales.

The only picture (from my camera phone) that I managed to get. This was up in the day and the two people in the back are indicative of the meager crowds that we had trickling through. The picture on top of the easel was the one that had flown off in a particularly powerful gust and broke the glass. At least I made up the money I spent in gas but overall I lost profits...I didn't even make up the cost of the booth. I probably could have if I had remained the last four hours...who knows folks might have shown up for the fireworks but the wind was progressively getting worse. If the lady beside me had left before I did I would have moved over to her spot. I talked to her briefly and she was very disappointed and honestly I think that was the overall feel for folks at least on our row.