Yesterday was our last regular season market. We call it the Pink Pumpkin Fall Festival due to the fact that it started out as a fund raiser for breast cancer awareness. The first year, we thought it would be a great idea to have a bunch of pumpkins that were pink that the customers could purchase and it would go with the theme. So I spent almost a week painting pumpkins pink with house paint and using brushes to do it. And they looked fabulous, for about a minute. Come to find out that pumpkins, with their waxy surface, do not really take well to be painted. As soon as the pumpkins were touched or moved, the paint would just flake off.
Fortunately, after that debacle, we found out that there is actually a breed of pumpkin called a Porcelain Doll that is actually a light pink so we started the hunt to find a local grower that had them. We were able to luck out and, ever since, we have had real pink pumpkins available at our end of the season festival.
This year was our fourth year putting together this fun, end of season, market. As in previous years, we had some very nice live music, face painting, kids performances, and a great pumpkin patch featuring the Porcelain Dolls. If you’ve read my previous posts, you have figured out that I love this time of year. After a long, hot summer, working six to seven days a week, it’s nice to have the weather start to turn cooler, beverages like hot apple cider start to become fun to drink, seeing the leaves turn orange, gold, and red, watching football, and getting ready for my favorite holiday.
But back to the festival. This year started out a little rough. Due to a scheduling snafu, there was another event that was setting up in the exact same location as our event and at the same time. This is one of those things that can cause a problem when you are an event planner. Sometimes, especially at a popular location, things can get confused and there can be overlap. Hey, shit happens. Of course, now that it’s a day later and I am at home reflecting, I can be a little more blasé about it but, let me tell you, when I first showed up at the location and there were already tents from the other event set up in my spot, I was maybe a little pissy. Fortunately, the other event manager was easy to work with and we came up with a compromise but it still wasn’t a great situation for either one of us. He was setting up a 5K run and the route happened to be right where my vendors were supposed to be able to park their vehicles so that they could set up for my festival. It made setting up the festival a challenge and I had to deal with vendors that were upset with the whole situation but, this is what we are there to do. Not all events run smoothly and it’s our job to make sure that you, the visitor to the event, don’t know that there was ever a problem.
Now, if you read my Why No Dogs post, you know that we do not allow animals in the markets due to numerous reasons, specifically because there is a county code that forbids it, but yesterday we had to make an exception. You see, the 5K run that we overlapped with was a K-9 fun run that was sponsored by the local Sheriff’s Dept. and their K-9 unit. Because of this, there were hundreds of folks out for the run with their dogs and since the events were basically right on top of each other, I gave in. I didn’t even put out my “No Animals” signs. It just wasn’t worth the fight. So there were tons of dogs in the market yesterday. Again, shit happens, so we just had to deal with it. Fortunately, the people who came out for the run ended up shopping at the market and, from a money making perspective, it worked out. There were a couple of issues with the animals but, overall, the people who brought their dogs out yesterday, kept them under control. Of course maybe the fact that all of the animals, both two and four legged, had just run a 5K made them more relaxed. I don’t know.
The weather behaved perfectly being cool in the morning and mid-70’s in the afternoon. All of my vendors made some money and I think that all of the folks that came out were happy with the event. It was also really nice to talk to the customers and hear how much they enjoy the farmers’ markets that we put on in the summer and that while they were bummed the season was coming to an end, they were already looking forward to coming back next year. It’s always great to hear that the people who come to an event are looking forward to returning.
Next week is our last market of the year. It’s not one of our weekly markets so it doesn’t really count as our regular season but we are part of a huge Italian Festival, which will be the subject of my next post, and it marks the very end of our season. I am looking forward to traveling this fall and visiting other markets in different cities. And, now that I am writing about all of this, I am looking forward to sharing my experiences with you.