The Washington City Paper sponsors the Crafty Bastards(sm) Arts & Crafts Fair, an exhibition and sale of handmade alternative arts and crafts from independent artists. The fair is all-day, outdoors, free to attend, and offers goods for sale, food, entertainment, prizes, and more! I think there must have been thousands of people there on Saturday.
I chickened out of applying to be a vendor (more excuses) this year, but wanted to participate in some way, so I volunteered. For the early shift. I got up on Saturday at 3:45 a.m. (yes the morning after the events of my previous post), dressed comfortably and with an extra layer, and drove to Adams Morgan to arrive exactly at 5 a.m. Heather McAdams, the volunteer coordinator, was very organized and set all of us hapless, sleep-deprived volunteers up with a buddy and directly to work. I was on "vendor support" and spent the next three hours hauling & setting up large tables around the Marie Reed Learning Center's basketball courts. When we finished with the tables, we hauled and set up tents. Did I mention that there were 147 vendors?
When the vendors started arriving around 8, I helped them haul their stuff, and set up more tables & tents. I was a bit of a tent expert by then! The very last tricky thing my volunteer crew and I did was move a booth that was already set up with delicate ceramics to another location at the event. I think everything went very smoothly and all the vendors were very gracious. Heather sent us a few thank you notes from the vendors, which was just so nice of her! Here is an excerpt:
"[Crafty Bastards] was so thoroughly well thought-out and advertised—a true testament to the hard work of the volunteers and staff. The sheer volume of people in attendance blew my mind and the fact that it seemed to go off without a hitch was equally impressive, I can only imagine how much organization and planning it takes to do something like this and I just wanted to let you know that, as a vendor, I am thankful for all the hard work. Congratulations to the whole crew!"
I spent about an hour after the event shopping at the vendor's booths, as everything was so attractive, colorful and wonderful, it was hard to resist. I made purchases at My Paper Crane (my happy kids are pictured with Heidi Kenney's plush donut and acorn), The Candy Thief, Tina Seamonster, Bossa Nova Baby, This Chickadee, and Maryink.
But, oh. my. god. I was so fracking sore and exhausted. At around 3:30 pm, once all the kids' activities were over, I totally crashed and had a nap. I even needed to slather salve all over my lower back and shoulders before bed. It was totally worth it. I am so very psyched to get more involved next year! I would volunteer again, but hear my vow: I won't chicken out of applying next year!