About twice a year my little town is invaded by an outdoor craft show. We walk down to the town square and shuffle through the wares. Usually it is very crowded, because every year it seems to get more popular. The same vendors come year after year, often located in the same rental space. Traffic in town slows to a crawl, and even pedestrian travel is executed at the speed of dog-walkers and baby carriages and kids in wagons.
I don’t do well in crowds. They make me anxious. But every year I go down there and participate in the ritual. We almost never buy anything, since most of the things being sold are just clutter. They are invariably cute things that must be dusted, and that end their lives for 50 cents in the garage sale that we will someday have to unload all of this crap. Many items are intended for deck, patio, or cabin, and so must be ruthlessly tasteless and cheezy.
You have to feel sorry for the vendors, though, because for many of them the entire summer will be spent this way. Travel expenses must be awful, not to mention the joys to packing and unpacking all that stock. It used to be that the items for sale were hand-made by the sellers, and that is true for some, but more common now is re-sale of cheaply manufactured goods selected for the purpose. Many vendors mix the two. For some the exercise of capitalism overcomes their common sense. Do you really expect to sell a skein of yarn for $40? To who?
At least the weather is finally good. Perfect for traipsing about the cobblestones with snow cones and hot dogs, cheesy fries, tacos, and funnel cake. It’s a good thing we’re walking home.