It was one of the first hot, humid, sticky Saturday mornings of the spring season, which sounds like the perfect way to begin a new adventure before dawn. With car lights, and personal head lamps we were guided through a congested street with barely enough room for a car to get through to what would be become our site for the next two days. We were not being guided to a suburban camping site, and we were not alone. Almost two hundred other people were with us, all working towards the same goal; having their booths ready for the Dunwoody Art Festival. Yes this is how it begins, a mad dash in the dark to unload all the equipment, tent, product, chairs, coolers, rugs, a full plethora of goodies that would be needed to have a successful show, all shown (shoved) into a 10 x 10 square foot space. It’s a ready- set – go scenario from 5:00 AM to 9:30 AM to be completely setup and customer ready for the rush of the early shoppers. Thank goodness there was no rain! And very generous help from friends and family.
Fortunately we had a practice run with the setup in our driveway. Our vision came together quite well in the driveway. It’s a whole other thing when you have tents going up on either side with only 6 inches between each, and then you add in the fact that your site is leaning almost 4 inches downhill on one side! AND there are cars and trucks and trailers still arriving and trying to get through with literally less than an inch to spare. No practice run prepares you for that first jolting commotion and anxiety, but we got it set up and before deadline. Not bad for the first attempt, at least that’s what we think.
This was our first festival with Fun Foodie Friends and Elaine Callahan Fine Art, and did we ever feel like guppies. Fortunately there were plenty of great people who helped, advised, and just plain cheered us along! Elaine and I were delighted to discover that we were surrounded by experienced festival participants, who had nothing but smiling helpful faces. It is a chaotic but focused atmosphere, where when necessary people just pitched in to help one another. Thanks Mike Wells of WonderWorks Photography; Elizabeth Seidel (Liz), creator of e.s. designs; and Jimmy and Marlene of the Steel Menagerie, we could not have asked for nicer neighbors on our first outing! You guys were terrific!
Was it everything we expected? Yes and more. Did we accomplish what we set out to do? Yes and more. Being our first festival we realized there would be a learning curve, we knew we would make mistakes, but we are true believers in, if you’re not making mistakes you are not trying hard enough. So we dusted ourselves off, actually it was more like wiped the sweat off, it was almost 90 degrees both days, and we committed ourselves to two other festivals, Norcross and John’s Creek. There may be more, so stay tuned!