I participated in one of the two or three shows I do each year. I was in Clayton, GA for Celebrate Clayton.
The weather was fabulous, the entertainment was great, and the organization these volunteers have come up with as the show has grown is amazing!
They have streamlined their set-up times so as not to have any one vendor waiting forever to get to their space. You are given one hour to put up your awning and unload your 'stuff', then you move your vehicle and make room for the next vendor to come in and do the same. In the past, some vendors have wanted to do their entire set-up before moving their vehicle (which sometimes was a BIG truck with an even bigger trailer!)
On the two days of the show, they had a shuttle van that brought vendors to and from their vehicles (parked a couple of blocks away). The amazing thing is that the van on loan for the shuttles is a church van from Mountain City, GA, If you saw some of the news photos of the tornadoes that hit that area a couple of weeks ago, that church is shown with it's steeple upside-down.
You may see a flash of blue in some of my photos. I was honored again with the Judges Choice of Best Pottery at the show. This is something I still have problems believing. I know I like my work, it comes from a place deep inside my creative self. But to have a pair of judges pick mine is an honor and humbles me. As one friend on facebook said, I was channeling Sally Field when I said 'They like me, they really like me!' Hey, if I have to channel someone, I'm so glad it is a talented person like Sally Field!
My new Large Mugs were a hit! And I had return customers buying the Small Mugs as well. That is another heart-warming thing, to know I have return customers; both at this show, the Mistletoe Market at the Anderson County Museum in November, and mostly, at The Mercantile. Thank you from the bottom of my creative heart!
The one down-side to the weekend was somehow wrenching my back! Friday night set-up went great. My friend and fellow vendor Mike and I put up both awnings and set up the tables, zipped down the sides and all was well. The next morning we went to load in our product and set-up the displays.
As I squatted down to un-zip the sides of the awning, my back wet out. I could not get up. I just sat myself down on the street in agony. Luckily, the extremely helpful Boy Scouts from Troop 40 were on hand to help, as well as some event volunteers. A very BIG thank you goes out to all of them for their help!
I slowly and VERY carefully worked my way through set-up and asked for help when I couldn't do something. I even fashioned chair cushions out of the foam pads I pack around my pottery.
One of my customers is a massage therapist and gave me some simple exercises to do to try to relieve the pressure. Thank you Joyce! While I was down by the Rock House to get my award, Joyce stopped by my booth to check on me. Mike told her I was still hurting, and she brought some pain-relieving rub for me. My friend Pat, who is a nurse, told me how much Ibuprofen I could safely take. Thank you Pat! By Sunday, although still sore, I was able to move MUCH better and still asked for help when needed. And lastly, but definitely not least, my friend Mike made sure that I got to the drug store to get more Ibuprofen and some ice packs before returning me to my car to get to where I was staying for the night. He also was usually the only one around to help me when I needed someone to lift anything. Thank you Mike! I would not have made it through the show without the help of all these wonderful people.
The most humbling moment of the show was when I saw a convoy of Search & Rescue vehicles from Athens & Augusta headed out Route 76 toward Lake Burton & Mountain City (and on toward Ringold, GA and possibly beyond) to help with those so severely affected by the tornadoes. I admire the people who can take on jobs like that, they are a special breed!