Journal For Fairs

Silly me forgot to take pictures. Oh well! Anyhow, this was a fun day. It was very similar, with all the misadventures with the canopy and wind, to watching the I Love Lucy Show. I teamed up with Ruthann Ford of HNS Jewelry and we rented a space to set up for the day.

Pelican Antiques sponsored an outdoor antique street fair and blocked off Oak Street between 6th and 7th Streets in downtown Klamath Falls. While we were in the right price bracket, we were in the wrong venue.

Ruthie has two small tables and I have the canopy. Granted, it's one of those green plastic things that requires tie downs, but I thought I had that requirement licked. I bought some quick cement and poured it into some small ice cream buckets around a pipe that is just big enough for the poles to fit into. These were to be the "feet" for our corner poles. Then Ruthie was to supply the weights to go on the corners. She brought some concrete decorative wall tiles. *grin* Can you see it yet?

We arrive, set up the tables and place all the merchandise. Then we set up the canopy. The "feet" were too small. No biggie, the corner weights ought to hold the poles just fine. Not. The concrete blocks were too light. So - we lengthen the pole ropes out, which we had tried so hard to avoid, to pull the corner poles into compliance. It kinda sorta worked as long as there wasn't any hint of a breeze. So, while Ruthie fields the poor customers ducking under the sagging canopy to view the wares, I dashed up the nearest mountain and gleaned some 50 pound rocks out of a dry stream. We placed those on top of the concrete blocks and by golly, that worked. For awhile.

The day moves on and sales are not brisk, but we are getting enough to boost our confidence when the afternoon wind picks up with determination. Our canopy becomes a living, breathing Thing. One particularly strong gust swept up under the canopy and billowed it mightily, raising the canopy well above the center pole. The wind then slapped the canopy back down with a vengeance causing the center pole to pierce the canopy where there was no grommet and causing the canopy to grip the center pole as if to hold on for dear life. Playing total mischief, the wind again sweeps under the canopy and billows it almost to the breaking point. As it does so, the canopy, still gripping the top one third of the center pole, launches it like a missile into the adjoining parking lot. Ruthie is watching me with her mouth open. I'm watching, with very wide eyes, our center pole imitate a javelin! From across the way, a gallant cowboy sprints to our rescue and he helps me remove the canopy while Ruthie holds her arms up to prevent it from sweeping the tables. After it is packed into the back of the truck, I'm hit with a fit of giggles.

Thenceforth, Ruthie and I enjoyed the sunlight and were thankful the wind was blowing to keep us cool. But, the wind wasn't done with us yet. It grabbed the cloth skirts of the tables and wrestled among them like two puppies under a blanket. We discovered, much to our wide-mouthed amazement, our setup was faulty when the undulating cloth launched one of my goblets to the macadam surface. Ruthie was horrified. After I recovered from the surprise, I was attacked with another serious fit of giggles. I am now in the process of trying to make the leftovers from the goblet into a candle.

What did we learn? 1) Wind and standard canopies do not get along. 2) Pin or tape the skirting to the legs. 3) I need to get MUCH bigger "feet" for the canopy until we can afford to pitch in together and buy one of the new fangled canopies that hold up much better in the wind. 4) Our corner weights need to be lots heavier. 5) Take care when setting up to account for the wind and place merchandise accordingly.

List of Fairs

1: Summer Fun and Classic Cars, Gilchrist, Oregon - July 20, 2002
2: Mosquito Festival, Paisley, Oregon - July 26-28 2002 - Cancelled because of wildfires
3: Klamath Art Council Multimedia Art Show, Klamath Falls, Oregon - August 23-24, 2002
4: Klamath Basin Street Fair, Klamath Falls, Oregon - September 14, 2002
5: Farmer's Market, Klamath Falls, Oregon - September 21, 2002
6: Farmer's Market, Klamath Falls, Oregon - September 28, 2002
7: Farmer's Market, Klamath Falls, Oregon - October 5, 2002
8: Senior Center Bazaar, Klamath Falls, Oregon - November 16, 2002
9: Farmer's Market, Klamath Falls, Oregon - August 2, 2003
10: Farmer's Market, Klamath Falls, Oregon - August 29, 2003
11: Farmer's Market, Klamath Falls, Oregon - September 21, 2003
12: Farmer's Market, Klamath Falls, Oregon - September 27, 2003
13: Farmer's Market, Klamath Falls, Oregon - July/August 2004
14: Farmer's Market, Klamath Falls, Oregon - September 2004
15: Artist's Invasion, Lavender Wind Farm, Coupeville, Washington - July 30-31

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