How to setup a street fair booth

COD Street Fair Booth - 8:20 AM

COD Street Fair Booth – 8:20 AM

Walk with me through the process and click any picture to see it enlarged. 

Today I documented that event with photos and a timeline. We awake at 3:40 AM every Saturday and Sunday, and at 5:15 AM leave for the street fair in our fully packed van. It has to hold all of the artwork, canopies, tables, grids, generator, fans, chairs and last but not least, food for munching. There are 340 vendors, some arriving as early as 3 AM.
5:41 AM:  Arrival in Lot 2, Space 75 at the College of the Desert parking lot, Palm Desert, CA., and it’s dark! Truck is parked, where it will stay all day.
 5:54 AM: Steel grids and boxes unloaded from back of truck.
5:56 AM: Table with greeting cards and small framed artwork is setup. Carton with canvas prints unloaded against front of truck.
6:11 AM: Grid walls being assembled. We have 2 helpers who unload all the steel and boxes from the truck. On a day when we’re really tired, they help us setup the steel grid.
6:26 AM: Daybreak. We actually can begin to see what we’re doing. That always helps.
6:39 AM: Some canvases stacked, and vendor neighbor arrives.

7:22 AM: All grid assembled, signs hung.
8:19 AM: Hanging complete. Backdrops hung and the gallery is ready.
8:20 AM: View of left side of gallery.
12:01 PM: Packing up and ready to refill the truck. Everything must be out by 5PM. We do the same process every Saturday and Sunday. Nothing can be left overnight.
12:22 PM: THE END. It is Sept 20th, and over 105o   



October 1 thru May 30, the street fair is open from 7:00 AM – 2:00 PM.

Those are the cooler months. In winter, we need gloves and sheepskin boots to setup; in summer, shorts and tanktops. We love the street fair, the people we meet, and the collectors who return yearly. The community of vendors are our weekend family and a good time is had by all. I should mention that I could not do any of this without the physical work and help from my pal, Al. He makes it easy for this happy artist.  

If you’re vacationing in the Palm Springs,CA area, the fair is a wonderful place to spend a day. There’s nothing like it anywhere else. Approximately 15,000 to 20,000 people visit the street fair everyweekend during the tourist season. Vacations are planned around visiting the COD Street Fair. And don’t forget to stop by Lot 2, Booth #75, for a hug from the hugging artist.

If you’re in the area, the other street fair to visit is on Thursday night in downtown Palm Springs. It’s called Villagefest. I no longer show there (too much work for older folks, and yes I’m older) but it’s a great Thursday night happening. This is my public service announcement about the benefits of visiting the Palm Springs CA area. I hope to see you soon.


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