The abundance of Harvest Faire

 

Last updated 10/12/2022 at Noon

BILL BARTLETT

Quilters inspect the harvest of new fabrics for sale at the juried arts and crafts fair, which brought several thousand people to Sisters.

What a difference a year makes. Last year’s Harvest Faire, sponsored by the Sisters Area Chamber of Commerce, was a cool, wet affair that dampened spirits and sales. Not so 2022, when some 200 vendors — nearly a fourth making their first Sisters appearance — took over three blocks of Main Avenue on Saturday and Sunday.

In addition to postcard-perfect weather both days, attendees were treated to a festival setting with numerous food options, music at the Fir Street Park bandshell, and, of course, shopping of the arts-and-crafts variety. That included craft foods and beverages.

It could also have been a dog show, as hundreds made the stroll. Parking, as might be expected, was tight, and cars and vans were dispersed over a dozen blocks. As many locals as possible walked, but bikes were rarely seen as the passageways were tight and often jammed.

Vendors guessed among themselves as to the number making the event, with nobody guessing less than 3,000 and some estimating 5,000 to 6,000. Midday was the peak for both days given the availability of food. The Barn and its food trucks benefited handsomely from the affair, given its front-row, center seat.

Merchants and eateries up and down Cascade and Hood avenues expressed delight at the overflow crowds, many of whom wandered into their businesses leaving with purchases.

Just when it looked like a slight break Saturday, scores of families showed up with kids who had just finished soccer. The entire weekend was multigenerational with large numbers of grandparents strolling with children and grandchildren.

“What an outstanding day,” said Lola Caruthers who along with three of her friends drove over from Sweet Home. Jill Young, a companion, added: “This is very special, so many different things.” Rita Udall, one of the group, explained: “So many of these markets are the same from tent to tent, not much choice. We were worried that we’d miss something with so many options.”

At this point, 2 p.m. Saturday, they all had arms full of bags while trying to down some Ramona’s Kitchen Mexican popsicles.

Dry Canyon Stampede, a seven piece band, played Saturday. Some listeners were dancing to the tunes, while others sang along to familiar country lyrics. Bill Keale entertained Sunday, a day not as hectic as Saturday.

Dave Bartholet, a vendor from Seaside who had two spaces, felt he spoke for most of the exhibitors when saying what a successful outing it had been.

“I had so many people still in my tent at 4 p.m. on Saturday when the Faire was supposed to close that I stayed open another hour and rang up another $250.”

Chocolatiers and fudge makers were grateful that temperatures did not go higher, for fear their displays of goodies might melt or lose shape.

 

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