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Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals

Look, folks.. this is small town America. If Norman Rockwell were alive today he'd jump at the chance of setting up his easel in the main intersection of this show. Off duty firemen and rescue workers show up in their dress uniforms to mingle with an admiring crowd. It is the only show we've seen where people stop where they are and pledge allegiance toward the flag as they play the National Anthem. Older gentlemen parade their antique garden tractors for the delighted onlookers. The kumquat pies and cookies sell shortly after noon, so ya'll better get there early. Miss Kumquat, Miss Kumquat Blossom, Miss Kumquat Bud, Miss Kumquat Blossom, etc. (the list seems to grow each year) will pose with you for snapshots on request. This alone is worth the trip. We've been doing this show in Dade City, Florida for years and it is our very favorite. Money isn't everything, but a thousand bucks for getting up at three in the morning, driving thirty miles, and then getting back home in time to have dinner the same night at a nice restaurant afterward make for a rewarding (albeit long) day. This year the show started out with the largest crowds we have ever seen here. When the predicted rains hit they didn't go away. They just sprouted umbrellas. The fact that the rain was expected and it was very light didn't hurt. I also have to admit I ran a business in Dade City for almost thirty years before selling out to restart my art show career that I had begun in 1978, The show is extremely well organized. Setup is said to be at six AM without exception, but those arriving early kind of creep in, park way toward the edge of the street, and start dumping their stuff on the median out of the way of traffic. As soon as the traffic barricades go up on the end of the strip you can set up your tent. They really appreciate it if you're out of there as soon as you offload, but they don't make a federal case out of it. Although no one is quite sure why, the show attracts crowds of about 40,000 in one day. Imagine a county fair without rides or livestock.. but people show up in droves anyway. Just exactly what is a kumquat? If you don't see fit to come to the festival to find out I'm not going to tell you. As for us, we brought home three bags of them. We also bought two kumquat trees last year which have fruit on them as I speak.

Views: 208

Comment by Nels Johnson on January 31, 2010 at 8:21pm
Bill, I find it hard to believe that you would go to Kansas City Plaza, make millions and not go out to eat a good meal, and yet for kumquats you will--you are a little k-slut. Nice review and even nicer pics, gave you a great flavor of the show. You should do this more often. You are made for it.
Comment by Bill Sargent on January 31, 2010 at 9:32pm
Hey Nels
We had a great dinner after the Plaza, but I appreciate your input. Thanks to shows like Plaza we can afford to do gems like the Kumquat. You should get off your billfold someday and apply for it. Let me know and I'll use my influence to get you a good spot. You'll like it so much you'll wind up claiming you discovered it yourself.
Comment by Michelle Sholund on January 31, 2010 at 10:29pm
I really like this review - well rounded and the pics are equally wonderful.

I am amazed those "therapeutic salt light rocks" are in FL too. I see them at nearly ever show I do.
Comment by Ynon Mabat on February 1, 2010 at 8:39pm
Comment by Bert Herrera on February 2, 2010 at 8:36am
LOL! You know you've made it big, when you get in to both KC and Kumquat! :) Nice write up!
Comment by Connie Mettler on February 2, 2010 at 7:12pm
OMG! You've got to love this business.

Laughing in Michigan...

and trying to figure which photo to ask permission to use on my next art fair website....
Comment by Leslie Jensen on January 10, 2011 at 9:44am
Nice photos!
Comment by Jane Elizabeth Duke on July 12, 2011 at 10:09am
Love the photos!  a $1,000.00 seems a bit steep lol.
Comment by Jane Elizabeth Duke on July 12, 2011 at 11:11am
Sorry skip, I misread... should get a bit more sleep before I make comments.


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