Saturday, I spent my afternoon inside the South Bay Grange, which has been a farmhouse and school, among other things. It now hosts a community children’s theater group, BK Musical Productions, which reinvigorated the annual Strawberry Festival the Grange has been associated with for the past 79 years. Originally, the festival was put on as a fundraiser to pay for the beautiful wood floors, then for various other improvements to the building. Nowadays, they do it to support the theater group.
It’s a small event, attracting roughly 500 people. The other folks who sat in the vendor area with me reported they’d done really well last year, but regard it as a hit-or-miss. It’s the type of event where there’s really no way to predict what sort of folks it’ll attract, and what those folks will be interested in buying. Having been personally invited to participate by the organizer fee-free, I had nothing to lose but my afternoon by taking my table.
With the window at my back and ceiling fans overhead, I had a nice breeze. I had plenty of space–unlike Norwescon–to stretch out, and the seats were reasonably comfortable. This is good, because almost no one came through to see any of us, and most walked right past me in favor of other tables. I had gentleman who purchased a copy of Knights for his tween daughter, which is awesome, and a few people interested in the pictures and maybe getting ebooks. And that was it.
In short, it was a disappointing day. However, as a result of being there, I met some lovely folks who invited me to participate in an open art fair down at the Tumwater Fred Meyer every Sunday through the summer. Gallery Boom began hosting a small festival in May, and they’re adding more stuff each week, with a planned celebration to their first anniversary in the middle of July.
While Sunday was also disappointing (zero interest), I’m glad I went. It’s good to be around when people with big ideas are looking for help implementing them, and it’s good to get to know artsy folk. I’m planning to be at Gallery Boom whatever Sundays I’m able this summer, if only to enjoy the fresh air, music, and the odd gentleman telling me he only reads nonfiction because he’s too old to “waste time” on fiction anymore.