In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.
I have been waiting to write a post about the 2012 New Castle ArtFest until after I settled back in and got comfy again. Truly, it was shocking how quickly the turn of events happened. And all I keep saying in my head (until I believe it)…you can’t control Mother Nature. Well, Mother Nature apparently did not want me to profit from this venture and decided to kick my ass.
We were so ready for the Fest. I had all kinds of fresh work with me and just couldn’t have been more prepared. But when we arrived at 9:30 a.m., we were not prepared for it to already be in the 80’s with 70% humidity at the very least. By the time I got set up I had a full on drench going, sweating from every pore. And the rest of the day only got hotter and more humid with no worthwhile cloud in the sky. Keep in mind we are in northwestern Pennsylvania here where weather like we had last weekend was record setting.
We were roasting. But Seth kept making sure I drank enough water and every couple of hours bought me lemon Italian Ice, very delicious and very refreshing (he’s seen me dehydrated and it’s not pretty). Few people came out to play. Partly because of the heat, partly because this was the first year in a new spot, partly because they knew there was going to be a second day. The heat was borderline unbearable even under our canopy and I spent the entire 12 hours on my feet because it was just too hot to sit. And I like to greet everyone that comes by to look at my work and explain the basics of my work no matter how hot or cold I am. So the first day was a bust, for all of us there. Many of the artists I had seen at last year’s Riverwalk or were fellow members of the Blue Heron when it was in existence. We all got a chance to chat and visit and made new friends among the staff and other artists. There were more tasty food options, bands all day, an opening ceremony in honor of our veterans on Saturday, and a pastor gave a sermon on Sunday morning.
At the end of Saturday, we packed up and traveled home for the night and had a couple of cocktails while we cooled off on the back porch. We were just crossing our fingers for a better day the next day.
If you want to see the sunshine, you have to weather the storm.
Our prayers were kind of answered? It was just as hot the next morning. Just as humid as well. But the day began with people flowing in at a nice pace and within the first 3 hours I had 3 times the amount of traffic as the entire day before.
Promising, right? Not so Fast! The black clouds rolled in, the sky opened up and it was suddenly Monsoon season in Cascade Park. Raindrops as fat as bullfrogs were falling. Winds were gusting so hard, two different canopies blew over and I was desperately clinging to the walls of our canopy to keep it from leaving the earth. Thunder and lightening was crashing all around us and we questioned whether holding the metal legs of the canopy was making us into human lightening rods. This started at 2:30 pm. We had only opened at 11 am. It quieted down for a minute. Long enough for everyone with a smartphone to figure out there was a severe thunderstorm warning for the rest of the day and spread the word.
I think I wrapped everything up faster than I unloaded it. The rain stopped for a second but I just couldn’t take the chance my work would get rained on, particularly the fiber art. All the artists began to collect their work and bring their cars in. Then the rain was coming down in sheets and total chaos was setting in. Some patrons made a bee line to their cars, some hovered under the canopies. We all got wet no matter what. I had a tarp over all of my work and worked my way from one edge to the other little by little, packaging everything carefully.
Among famous traitors of history one might mention the weather.
Before I knew it we were sitting in Burger King, soaking wet, trying to get something in our bellies. We were home by 5:30. Bummed, soaked, and poor. I did 3 times the amount of sales as the first day…and I keep telling myself, “now I have lots of fresh work to put on Etsy and take to another show”. As sad and frustrated that I was that this didn’t work out as planned, I am still bleeding optimism as usual. I am already looking for the next place to park myself. And Seth and I have added rain gear to our list of things that need to go with us.
I have no regrets. I will return next year. I think this is going to be a very nice cultural event that will grow and become the place to be at the beginning of summer.
Thank you to everyone who stopped by to chat, look at my work and take something special home. Despite the extreme weather conditions, I enjoyed meeting each and everyone of you and that does make everything a worthwhile adventure. And an adventure it surely was!
Weather forecast for tonight: dark.