Thursday, September 8, 2016

Festival of Fools - 2016

                   ~slowly opens the creaking door, turns on the light and starts brushing away the cobwebs.~

I really need to find a way to be better at updating this thing. Sadly life gets a bit hectic and the blog tends to be one of those things that gets set off to the side and given little thought, then when I do think of it, I'm usually driving or have just crawled into bed.

So bear with me as I try to get back into the swing of things and figure out how to manage this and the 50 million other things going on in my crazy life.

Anyhow, on to the real reason I came here and dusted off the keyboard.

Festival of Fools presented by Dreadfully Punk
April 1-3, 2016
Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum
Vista, Ca

I love Steampunk, and I love the people involved in the Steampunk community, so when I heard about it , I jumped at the chance to be a vendor at the inaugural event (the booth fee was quite enticing too and the people putting it on are pretty damn awesome). I was also excited because the event was local(ish) to me and there was the opportunity to camp out for the weekend.

Let me just say that I had a wonderful time.

Though the event had its minor things to work around, it was a great time and came together really well for only two people running the entire thing. Yes, I said two people. Now, they weren't alone in all things, quite a few of the vendors I know helped promote the event with flyers and posters at their tables during various events and there were other great people like Drake & McTrowell that also helped out as well. There was Facebook posts cross posted between the various local communities and events as well. Dreadfully Punk also came to the Steampunk Meetup and chatted with the folks there.

The event started with load-in at 10 am on Friday, April 1st. Now since I had been going 6 weeks straight with events, having one weekend off to try to catch up on laundry, housework, making new stuff to sell, and then my kids being on Spring Break the week leading up the event, I was a bit slow (read: lazy) in getting myself in motion. I didn't get the truck loaded and on the road until about 11:30 am which put me in Vista about 12:15pm.

My usual partner in crime, Cindy, wasn't able to make it as she was in the process of running around like a chicken with its head cut off while on fire. See, she recently got accepted to the LA Times Festival of Books to promote her first two books in the series she is writing and well, it is her first time going out and working an event on her own for herself (My baby is leaving the nest so to speak ~sniff~). So yeah, she was under a wee bit of stress (probably still is honestly). So I was on my own, for the most part, for set up. I did get some help from a couple of my friends over at the League of Supremely Evil Revolutionaries (L.O.S.E.R) when I needed to get the tent and the pop-up set up, but after that it was all me and well, I was still feeling lazy, but I got everything up and even made a couple sales before things closed down at 5.

I was planning on camping both nights, but since my mom was still in town I wanted to spend a bit more time with her before she took off to go back home. Big thanks to her for coming down and taking care of the kids for Spring Break while my husband and I both worked. Of course going home also gave me the chance to pick up anything I may have forgotten as well as make a food run for stuff to munch on throughout the day while I vended.

Saturday I got all my camping gear together and loaded up, made a stop for some food for throughout the day and headed back up to Vista for day two of the event. I arrived right at 10, unloaded the truck, parked it in the lot, changed into my costume and opened the booth for the day's business. My booth was set up near the stage so I actually got to see the Doc Synchronous Medicine Show with the rest of the L.O.S.E.R crew as well as Drake & McTrowell's Hot Potato School of Writing, things I don't  get to see when I vend at other events since they tend to be in other areas of the event. I also enjoyed Scott from Frenchy & The Punk playing throughout the day.

The nice thing about vending for me is I get to see almost everyone who makes it out to the events, whether it be in passing or they're stopping in the booth to see what items we've added to inventory. Sparky says that we're the best place for her to come when she needs to finish an outfit.  <3 br="">
Towards the end of the day I was able to sneak away and see Casey Cousins at the Event Master Photo booth and had some great photos taken of me in my outfit I wore on Saturday. If I had thought about it, I would have taken the opportunity to get a Tin Type photo done over at Bailey Denton Photography.

As the day's vending was winding down, the guys from The Velveteen Band set up their merchandise table under one of the awnings of my popup and we visited while we watched Frenchy & the Punk play, at some point a Steampunk Conga Line started and a good portion of the crowd joined in, me included.  Once they were done, The Velveteen Band took stage and and continued with the merriment.

After the final set was over, I closed up the booth for the night and headed out for a grocery (read: wine, whiskey & food) run with some of the other vendors and we all sat around chatting and getting to know each other a bit better. I think I finally made it back to my tent to bundle up and pass out for the night around 11 pm.

Sunday morning arrived, and there is something to be said to waking up gradually as the sun rises versus having a cold dog nose in your face or a 6 year old whining about being hungry (even though they know how to get their own cereal).

My friend Michelle came out and helped in the booth for a while, which gave me the chance to wander around the vendor areas and talk to some of the other vendors that either didn't camp or I just hadn't had much of a chance to talk to.  I also pulled Bethany away from her project so we could get a photo together since we were dressed alike.

The of course came the daunting task of breaking down and packing everything up, which with two of us takes about an hour a half. This time it took me about 4 hours, but that also included at least an hour of sitting down chatting with Bethany and Justin because we don't get to see a lot of each other due to crazy life schedules.

All and all I had a wonderful time at Festival of Fools, and I can't wait to attend it again next year and see how much it grows.
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