Michigan Festival: Part 2 – One Day to Show Time!


The phones are ringing crazily at Arts, Beats & Eats. There are about 15 people in the office (let alone the crews out on the site putting up tents, building scaffolds for displays, hanging banners, wiring the site) on the phones, stuffing envelopes, closing deals with vendors, sponsors stopping by to pick up food tickets and volunteer organizations picking up t-shirts.

The political parties are signing up for booths. They say Barack Obama may appear on the main stage on Sunday night to introduce Chaka Khan. Well, that’s a stretch. But he will be in Detroit on Monday to be in the Labor Day Parade, a tradition for the Democratic candidate, and we’re hoping to convince him to have some fun with us on Sunday night.

A “veteran” contacted us this week wanting to sell glow-in-the-dark products, even though the festival has an exclusive with someone else selling these. She insisted on her rights, lawyers for both sides got involved. We agreed. Then after many hours of hassling, she changed her mind.

When you plan a festival you don’t think about incidents like this taking up so much time, let alone another line for the budget for the lawyer.

Today I started the day at Kinko’s picking up all the printing, the information for the artists about arrangements for the weekend, including parking passes, booth locations, credentials, etc. A stop at the office supply store for the rest of the supplies and we are ready!

Wendy Cox, our terrific intern, will begin the stuffing of the envelopes. We’ll prepare 150 of these. Then take the supplies to the Lafayette Grande where we will be meeting the artists in the morning, starting at 7 am, for their check in.

Later today Saginaw Street will be closed to traffic and we’ll take our layout and mark the streets for the booth spaces. Several years we have done this in the dark, using the measuring tool, a flashlight to catch the numbers on it, and chalk. Imagine almost crawling down the street, bent over the measurer, making sure everything is corrrect. This is definitely NOT my favorite part of the job.

The day will end with all the check in materials at the ready, the booth spaces marked. Artists can check in at 7 am so we have to be ready.

Chrysler has delivered some very cool GemCars for our use. It is fun to drive these electric vehicles around, although as the crowds arrive there is not much room to drive.

To be continued….


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One Response to “Michigan Festival: Part 2 – One Day to Show Time!”

  1. Diane Haines Says:

    I hope you have a safe and hastle free weekend.
    Thanks for all the hard work you do to support the arts and crafts industry.
    We wish you well !

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