I stayed to the Ranch to get the morning rounds done since the planned departure time for getting to Winter Gift Fair we set to before Herself would get back from Haile. Got the Horses and Hogs fed, however the drizzle cum rain started while feeding the Kid (we've one bottle kid currently), and the Goats all looked at me from under cover of their rain shelters and said, essentially, What? It's wet. You expect us to go out in that?
Sydney Subaru Outback mostly got loaded Friday evening, though there were still details to load in the morning, between the times when drizzle became rain and when it merely drizzled. All loaded up by 10:30 so ate some lunch and sat a bit with Houdini, telling myself the whole time that despite weather and probably turnout I would go to the show.
Used the time to mellow a bit and let my body catch up with healing on the head cold front as much as it could. Keep in mind 'colds' take a couple weeks to get over (unless you don't find someone to give it to, in which case it will take longer), and we are just now today getting to the one week point.
At any rate, hit the road nigh on schedule about 12:00. Stop at the bank for the Bank, then on Down Town and found parking where designated. Parking in G'ville is premium, despite it being not really a big city. And, it is pretty nearly all paid parking even on weekends. More on this later.
From the parking lot I could see the restaurant outside of which would be our designated spot. Arrived really quite early for setup which is OK this being something of a practice run though not entirely. Sat in the car through another bit of rainfall until closer to designated setup time. Then got out, went to find the Powers That Be and determine the Absolute Spot. Then started to haul things onto site and set up.
Proved to be an advantageous spot, inside of the Sun Plaza (Gainesville Daily Sun, first location for the newspapers headquarters before they moved to bigger digs a bit southwest). This kept us out of the wind later. Didn't become severely brisk, though people did use their pavilion weights. Mostly this avoided the wet wind chill for us.
I'd gotten the pavilion roof up, and the display sidewalls on, plus two tables set when our friend E NotOnBloggingVerse arrived and started hauling in her products. By the time Herself arrived, one display wall held framed prints, the other ready to go, and the tables in place already holding some stuff. We scurried through unload and setup and were in the last stages during the first quarter hour of official Fair time.
Brief aside: Mind you, I did this show with no expectations to sell anything, mostly to meet a goal for this year to do Three Shows, and practice setting up the Photo Booth after the experience setting up the first time in June at Yulee Days. I figured the Ladies should do a brisk business with their cheeses, candles, breads, snacks, and other such hand-craftiness.
I am happy to say the drizzle eased off during the majority of Fair hours. The sun never showed between the clouds. Because of the weather, and the chill, and because there were a lot of open spaces, other than where access to local business establishments needed to be preserved, sans venders, I suspect turnout did not achieve previous years levels.
However, as I expected the Ladies did a land-office business selling cheeses, hand-made earings, candles, goat-milk fudge and cheese, and other snacks both either sugar-intense or diabetic and gluten-intolerant. Herself, in fact, made enough in jewelry sales to be very happy and which proved fortuitous before the evening ran out.
I, on the other hand, sat or stood and smiled at people, not saying much since I didn't bring much voice to speak with, drinking a lot of water and using up a lot of nose tissue. I did cover a couple of sales for Herself while she helped other customers, and my fingers proved more adept at logging in to the card-reader site we use. Otherwise, mostly moral support. Did I mention part of the setup process included mounting two clip-lights inside the pavilion since the show lasted past dusk and sundown? No? Yes, and that proved very helpful.
So, while patting myself on my back on the setup, and the manner the variation on the theme between the two weekend shows (Necronomicon doesn't count in terms of developing the booth setup, being both an indoor show and providing the display setup) I also made mental notes on how many of the people walking through the booth ever lifted their eyes above the tables with candles and herbal sachets and goat cheese and such. About one in five.
And while watching one of those in five flipping through the matted works bin, also happily accepted $10 from them for the sale of a five by seven print. So. I made my one-quarter of booth fee.
Crowd dropped off rapidly after 18:00, and by 18:30 a lot of the venders started breaking down. So did we by 18:45. Herself went out to get Forrest Nissan Pickup, only to discover the Lincoln Park Pirates visited. Turns out she hadn't found the slot-box to put the parking fee (Paid Parking by Honor, or Gamble If You Will, Maybe You Won't Be Towed). So, the two big jewelry sales she made proved fortuitous in paying the towing fee. Would of cost double for them to 'bring' the truck back. However, E NotOnBloggingVerse drove her over to the towing lot and after a bit more interaction with the Lincoln Park Pirates and a bit more Excellent Help From Friends she got back to site with the truck.
In the meanwhile, I'd finished breaking down most everything else, stowed what couldn't survive being wet in Sydney Subaru Outback (what with the Drizzle returning and progressing to Light Rain again). This left the tables, the earring display, and the pavilion itself left to load into Forrest Nissan Pickup, during the process thereof we noticed the Lincoln Park Pirates continuing to cruise the lots looking for
In short, we arrived back at the Ranch more or less at the same time, parked, unloaded only the most perishable items (cheeses into the refrigerator) and left the rest which was either already wet or protected from the wet. Into the House where the Border Collie Bros bounded in happiness to see us. OK, so Squrrl bounced, Houdini pouted on teh bed (You Went Away For A Very Long Time). He did get off the bed and climbed onto the couch behind me while I ate home-made ham and been soup with rye bread for dinner.
Then a hot, hot shower, night-time meds and to bed. Actually slept pretty well over all, didn't get out of bed until nearly 06:30 this morning. Today will see no activity more strenuous than Morning Feeding Rounds. After that, actually partially before that set up pavilions to dry, then hang the display walls (damp) and set other things out to dry as well, unloading both truck and car. And laundry. Must do laundry.
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