This isn't one of my main shows so I am not doing the formal review; however, I’m writing it for newcomers as a case history of “don’t overlook what is in your back yard”.
I have been doing shows for over 20 years, and 1 day shows, school shows, and church shows are not on my list. The Hilltop Art Fair is held at the UCC Parker Hilltop Church (about 200 members) about an hour SE of metro Denver in rural Douglas County. Douglas County, CO is the 9th wealthiest county in the US. The show was on Saturday, May 5, 2019 from 9:00 to 3:00. Set up was on Friday afternoon. I laid out 17 booths 5’x 7’and 6’ X 8’ in a fellowship hall and 7 booths 10’ x 10’ outside. The booth fee is $35. There was a silent auction with 2-D art and a lot of merchandise donated by local businesses: everything from oil changes to essential oils.
The show was originally organized in the 1980’s but it dwindled when organizers moved elsewhere. Because it had been successful in the past, it was revived in 2013. A student art exhibit is held across the road in a historic school house in conjunction with the church show. A tractor drawn hay wagon takes patrons back and forth.
Art exhibited included jewelry, wood, fiber, mixed media, photography, and cosmetics, and my leather. Exhibitors were from the local area. Upstairs and outside were adult and youth musical groups, dance troupes, and student musicians. A face painter was present. The middle and upper middle-class clientele for the art show and silent auction are parents and grandparents of all the youth artists and performers, church members and their extended families and locals who were looking for something to do in the area.
The show is advertised with local fliers and posters, and road signs as far as 3 miles out. Set up and take down are very easy from the church parking lot. Hand truck/dollies are provided, and Boy Scouts help artists load out. Pizza and Cuban cuisine were sold on site.
My sales have ranged from a low of $100 to $700 since 2013.
This year I had seven sales of belts, dog collar, holster and flask with a sale average over $70. Sales were mostly cash. I picked up post show holster sales of around $300. Although the show is inside, heavy snowfall in 2016 and 2017 impacted attendance and sales. The show was moved to a week later this year, and the weather was beautiful.
This small show is worth diving an hour to reach. Similar shows exist in other communities and I encourage artist to seek them out. I do this show because it is at my church and it gives me the opportunity to get my inventory out of storage and ready for my Colorado summer resort area shows.