Show: Estes Park Labor Day Arts & Crafts Show 2018, Location: Estes Park, Colorado
Dates: September 1-3, 2018
Fees: Jury/Booth $325, Online filing $15
My medium: leather
Estes Park is the gateway to the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park. There are many summer homes in the surrounding mountains and Valleys and it is a popular destination for metro Denver. You also encounter a broad spectrum of income levels, and a lot of foreign visitors. I have been doing this show continuously since 2010. I also do the Memorial Day show in May. The show is produced by the Estes Valley Sunrise Rotary, Inc. The Labor Day crowd is large and there is a constant flow of patrons through the show. The show hours were 9-5 Saturday and Sunday and 9-3 on Monday.
SET UP AND TAKE DOWN
One hundred five booths are set up around the perimeter of Bond Park and in the parking lot in front of the Town Hall. People with trailers were given an option of starting set up at 7:30 Friday morning and could drive to their sites. I was there before 8:00 and could unload a few spaces from my spot. Later in the morning, artists parked in designated areas and Rotary volunteers dollied artist to their sites and helped with set up. Take down was Monday at 3:00 pm. Rotarians were available to dolly artist to their vehicles in designated parking areas. Later, artists were allowed to bring in vehicles to load up. You have to have paid taxes before you got a loading permit. The Rotary volunteers are experienced and the best group of any show I attend.
Trailers park at the fairgrounds and there is a free shuttle back to the park. Artists park on streets or in lots away from the perimeter of Bond Park.
ART, ARTISTS, AMENITIES, WEATHER
There is a broad spectrum of art and craft at this show to meet the interests of a broad spectrum of visitors to Estes Park. There were high end jewelers and photographers to handmade soaps and edibles. Many of the artists have done this show for several years like me.
The Rotary had coffee and donuts for artists every morning. There was a silent auction of donated art. Booth sitters were available. Clean, indoor, accessible restrooms are in the Town Hall.
Thunderstorms and wind are common at the Estes Park shows. Although thunderstorms were forecast for each day, there were only a few sprinkles. The days were pleasant in the 70’s.-
SALES AND ANALYSIS
Sales over eight years have ranged from $2.69K to $4.9K with an average of $4.14K. I had 75 sales with an average of $57. Belts were my best seller, but I also sold canteens, billfolds, checkbooks, suspenders, flasks, holsters, pad folios and napkin rings. I also picked up some post show repairs and special orders.
We rented our favorite cabin with a hot tub again. Now for the bear story. Sunday, a bear was up in a tree by the library at one end of the show. He got down and ambled over to a hill at the other end of the show. Sunday night he got into the toasted almonds tent. The security guy looked in the tent and found himself eyeball to eyeball with the bear before scaring it off. There was a big bin of sugar in the tent, but he didn’t bother it. He did slash one wall of the tent.
I learned something about bears from the security people. They say that the food vendors keep bears away from their stuff by putting Clorox soaked rags around their trailers, and on any ice chest kept outside. It repels the bears.
Wildlife are a fact of life at Colorado mountain shows. Be prepared for elk, moose, bear, beaver, deer and the usual raccoons and skunks. Don’t leave food or trash in your tent overnight.
Photos: 1. When the crowd was slow on Saturday
2. Unusual large crown Sunday morning