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South Haven Art Fair— A mellow affair in a park by the lake.

 As I set at a table across from Lake Michigan, munching a great breakfest bagel and reading The NY Times, I reflected on my time doing this show for the past 25 years.

You cannot beat the location.

South Haven is a Lakefront town about 35 miles above the Indiana border.

It is a big vacation destination for Chicago and northern Indiana folks.  Also nearby Kakamazoo claims this as their beach town.

It is held in tree-shrouded Stanley Johnson and can easily hold 150 artists plus room for their vans parked.

It is run by the local art center with great volunteer help.

It is always held around the July Fourth weekend, this year it was the weekend before it. Next year it will start on Saturday, Juky 4th.  It is a two day show.

When I first started doing it in the early nineties, this was a one day show.

We would do the Saugatuck show on Saturday and wander down groggily on Sunday to do South Haven.

Something about all those Golden Margaritas at the Hotel Butler Bar In Saugatuck would have a serious alcoholic effect on us. 

Remember folks, “effect” is a noun, “affect” is a verb.  I see lots of misuse of these two words.

English lesson is over, you all got “A” for attentiveness.

Back to SH.

In the day, many heavy hitters on the circuit would show up for this show.

Photographers like Galvo and Luciano would pull down heavy numbers here and then move on to Krasl and Ann Arbor.

Those day’s are long gone.

This is a nice mellow little show to do.

I would not say to do it if you have more than an eight hour ride.

Do not expect to make big numbers here, there are not enough buyers.

Art work that relates to Lake Michigan sells best here.

Forget modern art.

A big part of the crowd is beach-goers with kids and dogs in hand.

It is a pleasant walk in the park.

The Show committee tries real hard to help the artists. They have great volunteers and they are very artist-friendly.

That said, if you make $1500 of better, you are doing good.

If you are looking for a show to do while vacationing, this is a great one.

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Comment by Connie Mettler on July 24, 2019 at 12:30pm

Nels, I remember those days also, 2 days back to back moving from one show to another. We were already too old to do that so never participated in either one. Doesn't the Saugatuck show exist anymore? or have you just gotten tired? These sweet Lake Michigan coast shows are pure pleasure and sometimes you even walk away with some moola. (I believe that was a quote.) Its almost like being on vacation. Our favorite was always the Charlevoix Waterfront Show in August. 

Comment by Nels johnson on July 24, 2019 at 6:59am

That is called Position A.

How ya doing Larry.

Comment by Larry Berman on July 23, 2019 at 8:39pm

Back in the day it was my best one day show ever. And with the right space you could park directly behind your booth and not move until you packed up at the end of the day.

Larry Berman

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