ST. ALBANS TOWN – As the rain slowed the crowds down, sales clerk Mary Kay DuPrat still had a great day at the First Annual Harvest, Home and Hearth Fest held on Saturday, October 2 in St. Albans.
As the owner of Hot Fingers Custom Wood Burning, DuPrat had set up shop right inside the Bay Park stone house to show off his inventory of wood signs. Crowds were sporadic due to the overcast weather on Saturday, but local vendors like her still made it work in their favor – networking with others and finding buyers among those who braved the rain.
“When you support local artisans, you are supporting your friends, the craft network and others in the county,” said DuPrat.
The main sponsors and organizers of the event, Colomont CBD and Finley’s Cafe, had planned much larger crowds to kick off the annual fundraiser. Five groups were scheduled to take the stage from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the day’s program included food trucks, pumpkin carvings, a 50/50 raffle, train rides provided by the Big Blue Trunk, and lawn games.
The overall goal was to raise funds for local nonprofits Tim’s House and Martha’s Kitchen.
Then the rain all day Saturday came.
Despite the weather, Chris Santee, CEO of Colomont CBD, still saw the day as a success. While he didn’t have the fundraising total available on Saturday, Santee said he has already deposited over $ 2,000 as a result of those who showed up. He expected the silent auction of the event to get more out of it.
“Overall I think it was a success,” Santee said. “We put dollars in the hands that need them. “
The more than 40 vendors who braved the inclement weather have also had some success selling their handicrafts. While crowds were scarce, the artisans had time to meet other vendors and shop in the crowded Stone House. The organizers had opened the wings to welcome more vendors.
“They made room for people inside which was great,” said Nicole Langevin, the ProcrastiKnitter. His stall was stocked with cozy hats, scarves and knitted pumpkins.
“We get to know people and get our names known as producers,” said Darcy Young, owner of Purl and Post. She also enjoyed the fundraising aspect of the event.
Other salespeople have had a great time just talking about what they’re doing. From painted cow candles to personalized DuPrat signs, everyone has brought something a little different to the mix.
“It’s a lot of fun,” DuPrat said of his job. “It’s my happy place and a little therapy at the same time.”
“Even though it’s been a slow day, we are helping people’s futures,” said Emmy Burrington, owner of Finley’s Cafe.