- You awake at 3:00 AM and check the weather channel online. Hourly forecast 6 AM – 2 PM cloudy, precipitation 0%. Today is a go!
- Arrive at fair 5:30 AM. Everyone is sitting in their vehicles, engines running because of the cold, waiting for the drizzle to stop. The drizzle becomes rain and more waiting. It is now 7 AM, the street fair is open, no one is setup and it is still raining.
- The wind becomes the second factor and all vendors become weather forecasters. Fingers in air, wind directions calculated and still…no tents setup.
- 9 AM. All clear and everyone begins setting up. Gloves, sheepskin boots, long underwear, and we are in the desert, freezing and working outdoors. (It’s hard to remember those summer days when it is 110°-120°)
- 10 AM and dear friend, the rocket scientist who works on the weather satellite, shows up at the booth.
- My greeting and question for the scientist, “If the weather channel says 0% precipitation, why was it raining for 2 hours this morning? “
- His answer, “remember the data is approximately 6-7 hours behind real time.”
The wind event day
- Mid-day, early November and 40 MPH gust blows through the street fair.
- Grab the tent and begin to pray that it doesn’t go airborne, even though there are 440 pounds of metal grid attached to the canopy.
- A canopy from someone’s booth lands in the street in front of our space.
- Finally the wind is calm, and the canopy in the back of our space is missing.
- Oh yes, that windblown canopy lying in the street was ours; it took to the air, flew over our main canopies, hit a visitor from Australia and landed on the ground.
Bottom line about a being a street fair artist:
- It’s hard work but much fun
- The community of vendors become family
- The returning customers are wonderful
- You have incredible stories to tell
- It’s fantastic exposure for your art
- You MUST disregard the weather channel
- Rain and wind are disastrous for artwork, jewelry and clothing
- Working outdoors is a huge gamble.
- If you’re a gambler it will work for you!
Have you worked at an outdoor fair? I’d love to hear your story. If not, I’d really like to hear what you think of mine. Please share in the comment area.
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