Friday, October 8, 2021

Five Tips for a Successful Sidewalk Fair Display

Lucy and Darrell: "Treasures from Africa"
Sidewalk Fair Display
October 7, 2021

Our event: a sidewalk fair hosted by a committee of our neighbors. About fifteen neighbors displayed treasures they'd collected over their lifetimes--treasures like photos, beloved books, jewelry.  Fifty or more addition neighbors were the visitors at the fair.     

The fair was located on a concrete walk snaking gently downhill in the center of the "Meadows" neighborhood of Friendsview Retirement Center, our Quaker-sponsored senior living community in Newberg, Oregon.  

My dear wife and I displayed some of our treasures of Africa, gathered during our five sojourns on the continent between 1960 and 1996. The longest and dearest of our experiences took both of us to West Africa--focused on Sierra Leone. On shorter duration travels I visited Ghana, Ethiopia, Egypt, Libya, South Africa and Mozambique on professional academic and United Methodist global business. Each and every one of these visits enriched me, thanks to marvelous and generous African hosts. 

Our treasures on display at the sidewalk fair included Christian crosses from Ethiopia, country cloth and clothing from Sierra Leone, pottery, hand-woven pots--each of these items evokes marvelous memories from great times of learning and friendship in hospitable cities, towns, and villages.

What really worked well for us in the Sidewalk Fair Display? Here are the top 3.

1. The weather. Despite the early fall date of the event, the weather was terrific: gentle sun, no rain.

2. The sponsors--the marvelous event organizing committee: the planners. 

3. The visitors: old neighbors, new neighbors. They lingered at our table and provided great conversations with us,  

What didn't work well? The effort of moving our mementos from their safe and secure spots in our home to the display table and back. The worst loss was breakage of a favorite Ethiopian Christian cross. 

Should you decide to participate in a sidewalk fair, here are five tips for you: 

1. Begin at home, with a sidewalk fair in your own community.

2. Set up your booth carefully, including objects and photos that will interest your audience while providing safety and security for both you, your visitors and your treasures.

3. Be extremely careful as you move items from your home to your booth and then back home.   

4. Use your time at your booth for engaging in conversations. Your visitors will have time to talk with you about all kinds of matters of common interest. 

5. Make sure you have seating available for yourself. You can't stand for hours without taking a break.

Would we do it again? Certainly. We strengthened relationships with old friends and new friends alike. We enjoyed the fresh air.   We recommend that you consider participating in a sidewalk fair in your community.



At October 10, 2021 at 12:25 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Seems like fun way to meet others!


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