Monday, 19 October 2009

Cranfest - another successful year!

It was standing room only. What crowds! I believe it another successful fundraiser for this small town.

Driving was bumper to bumper. Busses offloaded people who streamed onto the street.

There were indoor vendors at the juried show, exquisite juried items that are often one of a kind: jewelry, Canadian crafted clothing, pottery, from a wide variety of vendors.  Outside, there were more, the food and the bargains, as well as those who prefer the outdoors.

Here is Muskoka Rocks owner, Joy Den Hartogh, camped out on her friend's front lawn! We had a great conversation. Lovely products, too!

Margot (in charge of the arena) and her volunteers, like hubby and I,  were hard-pressed to keep the crowds under control. With the sheer volume of people, customers had to be patient. Well, they didn't HAVE to, but in good taste you would have thought they all would have been. Such a perfect weekend for all. Spoiled by some who seemed to feel they were more important than those who had waited in line.

There were people crowded in the building, with caregivers, walkers, strollers, babies, motorized wheelchairs, canes, and some frailties.  When the crowd reached maximum capacity inside the arena, and we had to limited those who entered, things became hairy!

Used to crowd control (I taught gr. K - 8!) I was facing much abuse and arguments as to why the rules were dumb. The minute I'd usher someone out the exit, having tried to sneak in behind my back, another would slip by. After explaining the flow of traffic and they would kindly stand aside with dogs and food, neither were allowed in, and I'd find another trying to enter behind my back. Then, those who followed the rules, would give me a hard time. '

Vendors were permitted more freedom, which the customers did not understand. What does not stick in my mind are the people who did not realize there was an entry fee and quickly paid up. Others were rude and really upset all of us.

Most people were understanding of Fire Regs, rather than nasty, but you remember the nasty ones most! Do you think it that nature of the times?

The fruits were luscious looking. One vendor gave a free apple to a young child. Mom was shocked!

I made it a point to wander back into town today, to ensure that my lasting memories of the 25th Anniversary of CranFest were positive ones.

I met a lot of vendors who had similar issues. I think, if you are visiting a town, a store, wandering through a market on a sunny day in a country with marvellous infrastructure, you have food, clothing, housing, and are able to travel to such a fun Fall celebration, try put a smile on your face. Maybe you cannot afford their products, but a nod and a smile will make all of us feel better!

The OPP have been terrific. They understand crowd control.
 Plus drivers listen to them!

Try to remember:
  • Keep your kids under control, ensure they are fed nutritious food before the 'treats'.
  • Keep your animals under control, 
  • Water is essential for them
  • Believe in recognizing that volunteers are doing their part.
  • Understand that the vendors, store owners, & volunteers have been on their feet all day for three days. Give them a smile. It's free!
  • If you do not like a particular vendor's pieces you do not need to tell us. I was a doorkeeper, keeping the venue safe for you and your loved ones. (What IS with this anyway?) 
 I'd like to thank the woman who kindly offered to take the photo of the group I'd offered to take a photo of, when I said, "Excuse me, ma'am." as she wandered into the shot.

And the young woman with BIG purchases who allowed me to take her photo.

The happy, well-rested children who were cheerfully exploring the displays, or celebrating their face painting!


Bonnie Zieman, M.Ed. said...

What a lovely festival. You are very brave to volunteer in an often thankless job, Jenn.

Jenn Jilks said...

Pretty much, Caitlin! Or at least, parallel play with my laptop!

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

What a zoo! Good for you to volunteer for that.

Vagabonde said...

That must be quite an event with such a crowd and quite a stressful volunteer job – this takes courage and kindness which I am sure you have. My problem is that when I get stressed I can hear my foreign accent – so – if I can hear it then it must sound awful and people can’t understand me then I get even more stressed….

Jenn Jilks said...

Yes, a zoo. And I have to remember that there were a lot of friendly, happy people who didn't give me a hard time!

What is interesting, Vagabonde, is the with multicultural Toronto to the south, and a high Francophone population to the west, in Penetanguishene, there were many languages represented!

With the Bethune Museum nearby (a Canadian, dearly loved in China) we have a ton of Asian visitors, too!