The 62nd Annual Fairhope Arts and Crafts Show is well underway this weekend, and organizers say the show has seen a big turnout despite rainy weather.
However, that could soon change.
Some 230 booths and 201 artists have lined the streets of downtown Fairhope, but by Sunday, March 16, that could be cut in half.
Looming rain storms are making many artists think twice about staying for the final day of the festival.
The owners at Wendy Kay Designs, a local jewelry business, said they’re going to keep up shop on Sunday despite the weather threats.
“It’s a hard decision to make because if you break down during a storm then you’re dealing with how bad the weather is, and how much merchandise you lose,” said Kay Bonnell, a shop owner, “But, at the same token, it could turn out to be a beautiful day.”
However, many out of town vendors said they’re packing up and heading home. They feel it’s just not worth the risk.
“Well we decided to leave because the weather forecast looks really ominous,” said Mark Rosenbaum, owner of Rosetree Blown Glass Studio, a business based in New Orleans, “It really is hard for us to think about staying here with our glass. It’s much safer to just pack it all in, and chalk one up to experience.”
A new jewelry shop on De la Mare Street in Downtown Fairhope doesn’t mind the rain so much.
The owners said they opened Friday, March 14, just in time for the festival, and it’s already paying off.
“People have really welcomed us, really nice,” said Sylvia Akyuz, owner of the new store called Millenia Jewelry, “yesterday we were extremely busy seeing it was our first day, and today, even the weather hasn’t stopped anybody. We’ve been great, we’ve had a great return on everything.”
Meanwhile, organizers said they’ll decide around 8:30 a.m. Sunday morning whether or not they will cancel the final day all together.
But, regardless of the dreary day ahead, they said it’s always still a great time.
“Whenever we do this festival, I just love the people who come and visit,” said Darrelyn Bender, CEO of Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce, “They’re so nice and pleasant even when it’s raining.”