Wednesday, October 16, 2013

small town wine fest

Last Saturday I worked at the antique store. This was the annual Wine and Art Fest. The committee selects a different winery every year with the merchants on the square hosting the tasting in their stores. The idea is to get people to come into the stores and hopefully make more than it costs to participate. They have a big tent set up in which the vintner sells the wine and they have a stage with a band and food vendors which lasts til 10PM.

A Model A car club rolled through town in the morning, totally unconnected with the Wine Fest. There must have been at least 30 cars or more. I didn't think to take a picture until the last of them was driving off.

Fair goers follow the route on the map that takes them around the square to the different shops and other businesses that are participating showing art and/or serving whichever type of wine. This year we had a very sweet red wine. We had moments of being ridiculously busy with periods of standing around watching the parade of humanity traipse through the store (we make them walk through the whole store to get to the wine).

Apparently, last year, which was the 4th and best year as far as attendance (don't know this year's assessment yet), some people got a little tipsy and caused some problems. Well, a lot of people got tipsy because the wine was served as long as there was wine and although it was supposed to be one per customer, no one, not the servers or the tasters, paid any attention to that. Consequently, people just continued to circle the shops.

This year, the committee 'got the word' from those in charge that that wasn't to be allowed again. This year there was a $10 charge for a wristband, 8 tickets, a wine glass and some discount coupons from some of the vendors. The shops/servers were instructed to look for a wristband and get a ticket before they were to pour the wine and to stop serving at 8PM whether we had run out of wine or not.

The little display in the shop I set up of our work. A few people did actually stop and look.

I have no idea if the other shops stopped serving at 8PM. The two vendors in our store that were doing the serving are both older than me, and I'm no spring chicken. At 5 minutes to 8, Joe emptied the last bottle that was already open and then turned away the dozen or so people that came in because he didn't see the point in opening another bottle for 5 minutes. Besides he and Mignon were tired and ready to go home. The late comers weren't too happy as they had not been made aware of the 8PM cut-off.

I packed up our art work shortly after that and was out the door with Marc at 8:20 along with Donna and Bobby. Jim stayed behind to close up 'when he deemed it time'.

The party still went on til 10, but as we are the only shop and, this year, the only participant on our side of the square, once the wine stops being offered, everyone gravitates to the other side and corner where the tent and music stage are set up and most all the other shops are clustered. No one crosses over to Miss Hattie's then. I imagine Jim closed about 9PM. Had he stayed open til 10, I doubt a single person would have come in.

That's our disadvantage. All the other businesses on our side have closed. On one end of the block is a county court building and a big church takes up half the block around the corner. The shop used to get a lot more traffic when the restaurant next door on one side and the party shop on the other side were open.


  1. sounds like a long enough day as it is. probably wise to do the ticket thing. :)

  2. It never fails that rules not followed always cause consternation on someone's part. I'm glad you got to call it an evening earlier than 10.

  3. We have art and wine venues here but much smaller. Yes there are those who drink more than they look and buy and use these venues as places to get drunk and flirt. Glad you found a way to restrict that before fine art got Christened with red wine!

  4. hopefully someone saw your work and will be back

  5. Those cars are really cute! Serving wine is a small shop of breakables...good idea!!

  6. I've just spent the last minute watching Linda's avatar stick its tongue out at me. I didn't know it did that! Now I can't remember what I was going to say :)

  7. Sounds like a trying day. The tickets also sound like a good idea.

    Love your display.

  8. I have to say that I have found over the ears that fairs and crafts shows rarely give back any returns worth talking about.


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