Thursday, July 21, 2011

WoodyFest: Tales from a Vendor

You must think I'm crazy to voluntarily set up an outdoor booth for three days in 100+ degree Oklahoma heat in July.  Well, I am a bit crazy but after six years of setting up there, I've never regretted a moment of it!  
In July 2006, some old friends of mine from OKC (their awesome birdhouses are pictured below) convinced me to come last minute to the festival to set up a few items with them.  I packed a small bag and my tiny tent and went to the town of Okemah, which I'd never visited before.  Meanwhile, a man I'd never met before packed up his own bag and headed from OKC to his hometown of Okemah to enjoy the festival.  Hours later, this last-minute vendor and that hometown-bound man met and never looked back.  We married two years later and continue to return to the festival every year to celebrate that chance meeting, to enjoy one of our favorite Oklahoma events, to visit family and friends and to celebrate the legacy that Woody left behind.
It's hot, sure, but it's not unbearable.  The major festival events happen in the evening which is when vendors set up.  We bring a HUGE water jug filled to the brim with ice water and I continuously soak scarves in ice water which I then wrap around my head or neck to cool down.  Loose clothing and oscillating fans are your best friends here, too.
In years past, I've always shared this booth with various friends but this year, I went it alone!
Well, kind of alone.  These guys were adamant on showing off their goods as well.
From our vendor spaces, we have a great view of the stage and the giant water tower that is illuminated in the evening hours.
The crowd that this festival brings can't be beat.  Nicest and most diverse people around.  I've had shoppers come back year after year to get their WoodyFest souvenir from ME!  One woman told me she has almost replaced all of her lightswitches in her home thanks to my switchplates and WoodyFest :)
You'd think with it being as hot as it is in July people wouldn't come but they do!  They come from near and far and love every minute of it.  I'm on my sixth one and can't imagine missing any in the future, vending or not.
It's a rejuvenating time for me.  The town, the people I get to interact with, the music, the laughs, my family and so much more make it good for the soul.
My mister was a picture taking MACHINE during the festival and got SO many good shots that I've decided to break it all down into multiple posts, much like I did with my West Coast trip.  Still to come is the music, the town and the people :)

2 comments:

  1. That looks like a good time! It's cool that you met there and continue to return year after year.

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  2. aww, what a fun show! Your tent looks so cool lit up like that. And any show where you come home with your own man for keeps, well, I count that a show well spent! :D

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