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Reconnaissance

Herself and I went to the O'Connell Centre Craft Fair yesterday with Herself. This is an annual event held in the big coliseum style building where University hosts a wide variety of athletic events, as well as other venues (music, some stage show). She's been before, though a number of years ago. I consider the trip a reconnaissance, as in how I've looked at other art/craft shows and fairs to decide if I should like to try for space there.

The fair is a two day event, Saturday and Sunday. We went on Sunday because my Hospital schedule and our Farmers Market schedule required my or our presence on Saturday. Even at that, we went later in the day, needing to get the Ranch squared away. Glad we did on both counts, go, and go later. While feeding the Goats we discovered three new kids, sometime during the night or early morning. The two does that kidded are one of our oldest and one of the youngest, and as such on our list to watch over for potential problems. We are happy to report that so far, no problems. Both mothers doing fine with their kids.

At any rate, we journeyed into Hoggetowne in the afternoon, arriving at the Fair about 13:30-ish giving us a potential three hours to wander through. This year by my count on the site guide sheet 223 vendors showed their various wares and 38 or so of them did 'double spaces'. Call a single booth space as either 9x9 metres/10'x10' or 12'x12' (I'd need to re-examine the information on line for vendor applicants) and a double space then 9x18metres/10x20.

We lingered at a good number of booths, stopped at a double handful. Three booths we stopped at because we knew the people there in some manner. In some manner is the (to me) humourous part. One individual we know because she is most often set up next to our booth at the Haile Plantation Farmers Market. Haile does provide space for craftspeople; we usually set up right at the 'transition' border since Haile now 'segregates' crafts to one end, foods to the other.

Another person I stopped to look at the booth because this one was one of the few I saw featuring photography, and the specifics are a melding of photography and poetry. The person, of two, there that day at that time I recognised from Hospital, not really that small a world here in Hoggetowne. Nor even in Health Care, as a lot of people I know in the field overall are also involved in creative endeavors of one sort or another.

The third we know through mutual friends, that being the common nexus where we met Chico. He gave us some good background info on the fair itself, overall, as he's been showing there for most of the years the Fair existed.

That's the more or less 'personal' side. On the 'professional' side, as mentioned I spotted very few photographers, and overall what I'd call represenational art (drawing, painting, sculpture) constituted maybe a quarter of the show, sculpture type items being the majority of that. If we include textile arts as 'soft sculpture' there could be a lot more. However, most of the textile work we saw would more properly be crafts, as in bags, scarfs, shirts, socks, hats, and such.
Food vendors needed to be selling their wares in such a manner the food within would not be consumed on site. So, nearly all of those vendors produced items in jars or other sealed containers, and based on labeling we read in commercial kitchens rather than under the relatively new Florida “Cottage Kitchen” law that allows individuals or organisations to sell home-made goods with limitations.

The question before us is, then, would this be a venue we should pursue?

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