By Tina Snell, Staff Writer
Vendors and buyers began arriving in Little Falls Wednesday, Sept. 4, even though the Antiques and Collectibles Fair and the Arts and Crafts Fair didn’t start until Saturday, Sept. 7. Everyone wanted to be prepared for the 41st Arts Fair and the 11th annual Antiques Fair.
The weather predictors were promising a hot Saturday and possible rain for Sunday.
They were right on both predictions. Temperatures reached into the low 90s Saturday, with high humidity and it poured most of Sunday.
“Saturday was very hot and the afternoon crowds seemed a bit thin,” said Stacy Zeigler of the Little Falls Chamber of Commerce. “Most vendors reported they had good sales, generally equal to the previous year. Many said last year was their best in 10 years, so I’m happy they’ve held that level.”
Zeigler was impressed with how many patrons braved the intense rain Sunday.
“We gave all the vendors the permission to take down early to prevent product loss,” she said. “But some stuck it out until the end. The local stores reported good traffic for both days.”
Zeigler said that sometimes, bad weather is the local shop’s best friend (and the vendors’ enemy).
“All in all, we’ve had positive responses from vendors and patrons alike,” she said.
A family from Crookston and Climax in Minnesota, and Hope, N.D., came to Little Falls for the first time.
“We had a blast spending the day walking around and shopping in your beautiful town,” said Carla Geving. “We were impressed with the free shuttle service. It worked out perfectly for us as we are not familiar with Little Falls. Thank you for organizing this event.”
Mary Lee Ruegemer of Maple Grove used to sell at the Little Falls Craft Fair, but has switched to antiques. She has been a part of the event for six years.
“I love this business,” she said. “I also love Le Bourget Park. The people are loads of fun.”
Antiques and Collectibles Fair organizer Deb Retka said it was a great show this year.
“Everyone said they did well. I think it was the biggest show yet,” she said. “Shoppers told me the event was as good as they were told and there was 100 percent return of vendors from last year.”
Retka, who worked the 40th annual Car Show at the Morrison County Fairgrounds Sunday, said the rain didn’t help that event at all. It ended early, unfortunately.
Go to mcrecord.com to see photos from the fairs.