Havre de Grace Art Festival - 3rd Place!

October 25, 2022

This past weekend was the Havre de Grace Art Festival. It was it's 59th year. I learned from some other vendors while I was there that a few things have changed in the last few years.

First the amazing - I won 3rd place in the pottery category! I didn't even know there were prizes for pottery. Most other shows only do prizes for the fine arts so I was super excited by this. I just started getting my work out there and selling it over the last year so this was really nice recognition. Havre de Grace Art Festival - 3rd Place!

My booth was in Concord Park which is a relatively new park for the city. It's only been in the last 2 years that this park has been a part of the festival. We did have a good number of people coming from local or downtown that would come into the park and I was perfectly situated right where this park started. However, I heard several people comment that the walk from Tydings Park to Concord was farther than they thought. I also don't believe that the signage was great because there were several people who said they heard people talking about this park, but did not see signs.
This is my booth setup from day 1.

Havre de Grace Art Festival - 3rd Place!

I also don't believe that the festival was well advertized. It used to be in August, but since it can be oppressively hot in MD in August they moved it. Many people who came into my booth were local or were visiting the area and were directed to the park by locals. I had heard that in years past the fair would get 10,000 people. We probably had somewhere between 1,000-2,000. I did not sell as many of my larger items as I usually do, but I did sell a good number of smaller items and had a good fair. I felt for some of the other vendors who only sold high ticket items and struggled to make their costs back.

Havre de Grace Art Festival - 3rd Place!

The weather was gorgeous on Saturday. I got there really early and was able to see the sunrise on the Susquehanna River. I met some great people both other exhibitors and people who came into my booth. Sunday was not so nice. It was windy in the morning then it was just a little cloudy and cold. We had everything crossed that the rain would hold out until after we were done, but it started to pour around 2pm.
Selling pottery I'm fairly lucky because getting wet is not a problem. I just had to move my bags/wrapping paper and business cards further in the tent. It stopped raining for a while and I was able to make some end of show sales with some people on their way out of the park who just couldn't get some of my pieces out of their heads.

Havre de Grace Art Festival - 3rd Place!

This is the first time I've done an overnight show at a public place. The tent that I purchased only came with one sidewall so when we setup on Friday we just took over the tent, tables, and shelves. On Saturday we brought the pottery over. Craig's job on Saturday was to figure out a wall solution where we could close the tent up (which he did with tarps and zip ties). Can you see the flaw in this?

The flaw in this is that we didn't have to pack everything in the car to get it over. There was a moment when we were packing up that I worried - is it all going to fit? It didn't help that it was raining while we were packing so we were trying to get it into the car as quick as possible vs waiting for everything to be packed up before we packed it in.

One more bin and we would have had a problem, but we did manage to squeeze it all in. A lesson for next time...

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