The second annual “Art in the Barn” arts and crafts festival was hosted by the Dorchester Fairgrounds, July 9th 2016. The show has grown significantly in size since last year, growing from just over 100 vendors to well over 200. Because of all their great work, this show has become the largest summer arts and craft festival in Southwestern Ontario. The great organizers from the Dorchester Fairgrounds estimate the show brought over 10,000 visitors to the show!
This was M. Jones Creations’ first year at “Art in the Barn”. The show was actually only the second show we have done, and the first of this scale, and first with an outdoor booth. We got hold of a tent, and started working on the best way to display our barnboard flags, railway spike coat racks, and the 2 barn-door tables.
With the show coming so close after Canada day, our barnboard Canadian flags were in high demand, and there were a lot of long days making sure we had the right stock to bring to what would be the largest outdoor craft show in Ontario. After working all week to get as many flags done as possible, we packed the trailer and pickup truck full on Friday night and prayed the rain would hold off for the next morning.
We woke up to gorgeous weather, and drove off to Dorchester, set up our booth (in pretty reasonable time considering we’d never completely set it up before), and after grabbing a delicious pancake breakfast for only $5 from the fairgrounds, we were ready for visitors!
We were blown away by the number of visitors the fairgrounds got that day – until the rain hit we were lucky enough to almost always have at least one person looking through our flags or picking out a coat rack. Even AFTER it started raining folks braved the light showers to make their way through the more than 200 vendors.
The crowd favourites at our booth seemed to be the “Red White and Moose” flags, and the large 6’x3′ world map made special for the show. We came close to selling out of the large “brown” moose flags, and had many visitors go home with the dimensions of the map to make sure it would fit in their space.
Our favourite part of any show is always talking to the people who come through. The crowd walking the show was not only huge, (we CANNOT get over that there were over 10,000 people there!) it was also a diverse one. We had visitors from all over Ontario and beyond, from Sault Ste. Marie to Brant (right in our backyard) to the Northwest Territories! One of our flags even went home with a family from California, who were up visiting when they came across the show.
With the large crowds, we didn’t get the chance to look around at other vendors as much as we would have liked, but from our little corner of the show we were very impressed with the talent the organizers found. We did get to sample some great home made pierogis from JBogal Foods and snagged some awesome apple fritters from Kelvin’s Fritter Shop, as well as some great socks from Shylex Alpacas (who were right near our booth with some of their fluffy friends).
All in all it was an exciting, fast-paced and exhausting day, and well worth the drive to Dorchester. We are already looking forward to next year!
If you were at the show and took home one of our creations, remember to send us a picture on Facebook, post to Instagram and tag our account, or send it in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We love to see where our flags and coat racks end up!
Click here for more photos from the show from the Dorchester Fairgrounds Facebook account.