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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wednesday Wit: Lindale CountryFest aka the Vendor Scramble

Image from here

Like many small towns, Lindale, Texas hosts an annual festival otherwise known as Lindale Country Fest.  On the second Saturday of October a Main Street parade closes off State Highway 69 for a half hour or so and kicks off the festival.  After the parade, participants, parents, and patrons descend upon the festival grounds for a day of shopping about 65 vendor booths, bidding in silent and real-time auctions, riding carnival rides, enjoying local musicians, and indulging in fair food.

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There's even a train for those who would rather ride than walk.

  Evening festivities include a bull-ride and rodeo.  This year the festival spilled over into Sunday with the grand opening of Miranda Lambert's Pink Pistol Texas with the accompanying live bands and wine tasting.

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Who's that sweetie in the middle?  Unfortunately, I didn't get to see her that day!

I decided it would be a good year to try my hand at hosting a booth.  Mary Lillian Vintage would go on the road.  Sister Sharon would not be able to assist me so I enlisted my daughter Natalie to help me host the booth.  Hubby would help me get the Scamp up to the grounds, set her up, and set up the canopy which would cover my space.  I paid my $65 and prayed for good weather.

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People were lined up for three blocks waiting to get inside Miranda's new store.

I didn't even have to take anything out of my booth at the antique mall.  I had enough junk in my storage building and in my house to fill up another booth!  We hauled Annie to the grounds Friday evening and put up the canopy.  It does help to read instructions, even if it is an EZ Up brand canopy.  Annie would provide a vintage backdrop for my booth and attract attention, I hoped.

Here's my patient and helpful daughter Natalie before the deluge.  I was pleased with our setup.

Saturday dawned cloudy and humid and a little warm for my taste, but Natalie and I got everything set up in time for the first shoppers.  We had a good stream of shoppers, as well as a few people I knew from my teaching days in Lindale; even a few former students stopped to say hello.  Then the sky became menacing, but I held my ground.  I had signed a contract stating I wouldn't pack up until after 3 p.m.

Natalie helped me set up and greet customers.

The sky grew dark and the winds picked up and hubby called, urging me to pack up.  The other vendors had begun to carry boxes to their vehicles, so I decided to join them.  Suddenly a gust of wind blew over one of my displays and the rain arrived, pelting with vengeance.  Wait.  Was that hail?

It was!  I scrambled to my car across the drive, thinking that if I could get everything out from under the canopy, I could drive my car under it for protection from the hail.  But by the time I had driven out of the parking lot and around to my space, the hail had stopped.  As afraid of storms as Natalie is, she continued packing things up and throwing them into the Scamp as fast as she could go.  I tried to wrap the fragile items in newspaper until the newspaper became too wet.  By the time we got everything loaded into Annie and my car, we were completely soaked and muddy.  Jimmy had joined us during the storm and he was soaked as well.

My temporary guns and wings tattoo didn't wash off!  I bought it, thinking it was a sticker but realized it was a tattoo!

I have a new respect for flea market and show vendors.  There is packing, loading, unloading, unpacking, packing, loading, and unloading over and over again!  Would I do it again?  Maybe.  I was invited to three shows while I was there.  I will have to think about it.  The way I see it, you have to love it because it only pays about 5 cents an hour.

Annie's back window.  Can you tell we are Junk Gypsy fans?

XOXO