Friday, August 19, 2011

Last Weekend was our Annual HISTORIC Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival and we were jammed from wall to wall.

Coupeville holds this festival on Front Street which is 2 small blocks long. It grew in the past 48 years from ten little tables into 220 tents! we have surpassed the capacity of Front street and have now taken over Alexander St also. We block off these roads for three days and become basically a huge store.

The proceeds from this festival ( we get 15% of the Artisans take) go right back into the community in the form of grants and scholarships.

This year just before the festival, the down town businesses, which are mostly art galleries and antiques stores were burgled. Over 25,000 was taken from one store alone, the work of one or two artists who were planning on using these pieces in their booths at the festival. THe word got out to the Seattle News stations that the Festival was robbed, and the artists were all damaged.

Needless to say my office phone started ringing, until I was able to staunch the rumor and explain that it was only a few artists that lost quite a bit. I had several artists from as far away as Olympia, calling and offering to bring their goods up to help us.

All of these artisans were set up in just a few hours by 200 very AWESOME volunteers, who directed traffic to the parking lots, Parked them, directed them to their spots at the proper times, helped them unload, and then get them back out of the way so the next vendor could get in and set up. A Major operation to say the least!

Saturday and Sunday these awesome volunteers were on hand to park and direct the THOUSANDS of cars that came to the Festival. THOUSANDS! the parking lots were full, the school lots were full, and there was a line for a mile down both sides of the highway. We estimate that at least 10,000 were here on Saturday and another good 8,000 on Sunday.

Now we relax for about 2 weeks and then start all over again, planning, executing and dividing up the profits among the many applications that we get every September. This is not an easy job, and our volunteers come back year after year, to do it all over again for absolutley no pay!

What a crew!


Anji said...

It sounds an amazing place to visit. Give yourself a pat on the back for being part of the organisation!

Sally said...

So wonderful that you have great volunteers! Looks like a lot of fun for the visitors, and how nice that ya'll give grants. I love where you live!! :)

Mary Lou said...

It is amazing Anji! and Sally, we love it too, except when it is really grey and gloomy and cold. (which is almost all the time.) THese warm August days are the jewels that sustain us through all that though.

NJ said...

Volunteers are great! So many things would go undone if it weren't for volunteers. This show sounds like a really fun thing to visit, and maybe look for Christmas gift ideas. If you lived there, as you do, you would see tons of your friends and relatives as you enjoy the craft show. If I came, I wouldn't know anybody there, but it would still be a fun thing to do.