Yesterday was the kickoff of the 10th Annual Blue Plum Festival in Downtown Johnson City, Tennessee. This is a festival centered around arts, crafts, music, and BEER! All you have to do is purchase a wristband and you are free to roam the streets and peruse the crafty merchandise, beer in hand. :)
Year before last, I was lucky enough to set up and sell my wares at the festival. That weekend, I was living my dream. I met wonderful people and made lots of money. Unfortunately, this year and last, I was unable to open shop due to our financial struggle.
As I roamed the festival last year, it was clear to me that I wasn't the only one in this situation. There were less than half of the vendors that normally attend. And not only were there vendors missing, there were fewer customers as well. I was actually a bit glad I hadn't scrounged up enough money to attend as a vendor, because I almost certainly wouldn't have made it back.
This year, I was happily suprised to find that many of the previous year's vendors had returned. I haven't heard any numbers yet, but I'm sure there are more customers attending, as well. While it's a bummer that I wasn't able to set up as I planned, this still gives me a reason to be optimistic for next year!
How has the economy affected the craft shows and fairs in your area? I would love to hear from fellow crafters in this situtaion. :)