Articles

Fairs and Festivals Boost Economy

March 2009
Craft shows, fairs, and festivals provide a sense of culture and well-being to neighborhood enclaves while revitalizing business

In a time when economic times are tough, one bright spot is craft shows, fairs and festivals. In the second quarter alone, local festivals impacted the local economy and brought in an estimated $4.1 Billion to United States neighborhoods, according to the Craft Organization Directors Association (CODA). Not only do craft shows financial asset to economies, but the events rekindle the foundation that supported societies for decades: local arts and crafts. Fairs and Festivals Boost Economies on Exponential Level Most of their residents call them forgotten neighborhood enclaves – working class enclaves in sections of the city that get little attention from tourists and even some locals. However, a visit to these diverse neighborhoods – Penn Quarter in Central Washington D.C. , Central Ohio, and Panama City Inland in Florida reveal an aspect of each community that's stood the challenges through time - families who own their homes and neighbors who know each others' names. Leaders of these neighborhoods have been working hard in recent years to continue the flourishing trend, starting with the commercial corridors in the form of fairs, festivals, and craft shows. They've revitalized these main avenues with a variety of resources, including neighborhood artists, art festivals, food festivals, holiday fairs, and craft shows. These festivities are unrivaled in bringing residents together and helping merchants connect with customers. Sweet Fun and Sweet Corn At the Sweet Corn Festival and Country Craft Show in Central Ohio, adults went on a shopping spree of locally art crafts, kids played carnival games and crowded around a petting zoo, while teenagers strapped on sumo wrestling outfits and screamed in joy as they wrestled it out in a gigantic padded ring. "It's great for kids," said Derrick's mother, Helen said. "They're having a lot of fun, and we adults can get our shopping fix checking out the unique arts and crafts.” Event and community organizers say it runs deeper than that. Fairs and festivals create strong commercial venues that help bring people together and create a more welcoming and safer environment. Craft events shares creative culture and identity among different groups of people. Grassroots Efforts Bringing Cultures and Communities Together On the sidewalks of F Street between 7th and 8th in front of the National Portrait Gallery, locals and tourists puruse the capitol city of the United States enjoy a unique seasonal shopping marketplace in this Penn Quarter neighborhood of downtown Washington, DC. The third annual festival held on December 5th to 23rd will attract thousands of people this year who contribute to the revitalizing economy in this area, says resident Russel Stover, who also owns the Teaism Coffee Shop on 8th street. "I don’t recall anything like this in the neighborhood before, where people from all over could just come out and have a good time," Stover said. "It's a safe place where the whole family can have fun. Last year we had an outstanding turnout and it’s great to see more and more people come every year." In such cases, local figureheads work in bringing a craft show to such a location starts at the grassroots level and are assisted by grants and staffing secured by national nonprofit organizations such as Aid for Artisans, the Local Initiatives Support Coalition, and the International Trade Administration.. Redrawing the Boundaries In the Panama boroughs in Bay County, northwest Florida, such a partnership has helped organize the Route 98 Antique Show. North Beach Production has revitalized this particular area for the past 15 years and is indirectly responsible for the such as the mixed-use project known as the Scavengers Bazaar, a 7,500 square foot building which serves as a daily exchange for antique craft “junque” connoiseurs. Further South, in the middle of the Panama City Beach Seafood Festival, 7 year-old Derrick Herrera watched, transfixed, as a vendor spun pink cotton candy onto a stick. "Most city maps stop On the East Side of Florida right before Panama City Beach," she said. "We want to let people know there's something here for them on the inland. We want to bring back the vibrancy." The festivals, she said, give neighborhoods an identity and hopefully help draw residents back to local merchants throughout the year. It also might help the rest of the city remember these neighborhoods lost in the aura of beach ridden visitors and tourist trap markets.

Comments

plz send to me any fairs in your cuntry
may work is sals hand made carpet

By khorsand on November 24, 2009

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