Homegrown draws hundreds to 3rd St.

MARYSVILLE — More than a thousand visitors thronged Third Street from Aug. 8-10 for the Marysville merchants' annual Handmade and Homegrown Street Festival.

Marysville's Kenneth Fritts adjusts a canvas reproduction of his photo of Picture Lake at Mount Shuksan Aug. 10.

MARYSVILLE — More than a thousand visitors thronged Third Street from Aug. 8-10 for the Marysville merchants’ annual Handmade and Homegrown Street Festival.

Patricia Schoonmaker, owner of Trusty Threads, reported that this year’s event recruited 90 vendors and drew a constant flow of foot-traffic through the three-day weekend.

“The word-of-mouth feedback I got from all the vendors said we did really well,” Schoonmaker said. “There was a real positive vibe and energy to it. I didn’t feel exhausted at the end, like I do with a lot of other events,” she laughed.

Schoonmaker noted that a number of vendors were returning to the street festival, which she believes gave them the edge in knowing “what to do, where to go and how to sell their stuff.”

Although Kenneth Fritts lives in Marysville, it was his first time selling his landscape photography at the festival.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I’ve done all right,” said Fritts, as he adjusted a canvas reproduction of his photo of Picture Lake at Mount Shuksan.

Fritts was joined by fellow Marysville residents Anna Martson, who offered taste-test samples of Grandma Edna’s Seasonings for beef and chicken, and Mike McCrorie, representing the returning Lavender Hills Farm.

“It’s just neat to see all the stuff that these people have created with their own hands,” said Marysville shopper Heather Wyatt, as McCrorie scooped lavender seeds into a plastic bag for her.

Arlington’s Jessica Dean attended three festivals that weekend, but made sure to stop by Third Street to receive a henna tattoo from Antoinette Hippe, of Magic Magpie Studio, while fellow Arlingtonian Jerry Olmstead welded his metal sculptures.

“I already do four or five shows where I weld on site, so I figured, why not one more?” said Olmstead, a returnee who’s never fired up his blowtorch in downtown Marysville before. “The doctor whose parking lot I’m using is a super guy. He just asked that I clean up after myself when I’m done.”

Olmstead asserted that demonstrating his craft made a difference to his sales.

“When you do it live, it attracts more attention,” Olmstead said. “I’m selling sculptures as fast as I can make them here. It’s nice to have something people can watch, and to show them how a pile of junk can be turned into a flower or a fish.”

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