Annual Arts and Crafts Fest draws big crowds to Coupeville

Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival organizers are still crunching numbers, but it’s estimated this past weekend’s event brought an estimated 15,000 people to town.

An estimated 15

Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival organizers are still crunching numbers, but it’s estimated this past weekend’s event brought an estimated 15,000 people to town.

The festival had the usual 185 or so vendors with about 30 percent of those being new to this year’s event.

“It was a great success,” said Mike Dessert, president of the Coupeville Festival Association. “We had really happy vendors.

“We didn’t hear any complaints about disgruntled vendors, just how organized we were.”

Vendors come to Coupeville from all across the country to sell their wares.

“We’re truly unique because we’re a small town” Dessert said. “We have access from both sides, narrow streets and sidewalks.”

While organizers are still counting dollars and organizing records, preliminary numbers indicate commissions from vendor sales to be up slightly this year.

Dessert said he suspects attendance was down just a bit on Saturday because it was hot.

“It was busy, but it wasn’t gangbuster,” he said.

If heat was a factor in sales, it didn’t negatively impact the event’s beer and wine garden, which was run by the Coupeville Chamber of Commerce.

“We were sold out of water by 3 p.m. Saturday,” said Lynda Eccles, executive director for the chamber.

That included 22 cases on Saturday and an additional 10 cases on Sunday.

There was just a minor problem when the chamber’s biodegradable beer cups started to melt in the heat Saturday, forcing the chamber to buy more cups Sunday.

Dessert said the beer garden sold more beer on Saturday than during the three previous years combined.

“I think the festival was very successful,” Eccles said.

Only one serious incident was reported, a missing child, but the child was located in about three minutes.

“It really showed how quickly we could respond,” said Grace Tiffany, festival association vice president.

Organizers also saw an increase in community participation with more than 250 volunteers.

Dessert said he isn’t sure at this point how many volunteers helped because they kept showing up.

“Boy, they came out and worked their tails off,” he said.

All of the proceeds raised during the event go back into the community in the form of donations.

Partnerships throughout the festival weekend also aid in fundraisers for various community groups including the chamber, which splits beer and wine sales 50/50 with the festival, and the Coupeville Boys and Girls Club, which manages parking at the Community Green.

Organizers won’t have a completely accurate total for a while.

“We won’t know until all of the bills are paid,” Dessert said. “There are some unknown expenses and bills will trickle in over the next month.”

For info on applying for a community grant go to www.coupevillefestival.com

 

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