Marysville celebrates Homegrown Festival | SLIDESHOW
August 15, 2012 · 1:07 PM
MARYSVILLE — Crafters have been coming to the Homegrown Festival on Third Street for almost three decades. This year, a bout of good weather helped to solidify the success of a craft fair centered on local goods and downtown businesses, by drawing more than 3,000 attendees.
The Homegrown Festival celebrated its 27th year with an expansion, adding an extra day to the ordinarily two-day festivities. The festival took place from Aug. 10 to Aug. 12, and offered live music, craft sales, locally produced food, with thousands of attendees.
“We come here almost every year,” said Alondra Morgan of Marysville, who used the festival as an opportunity to shop local goods. “It’s really nice seeing all the new things. We come here to look at all the jewelry and other stuff.”
The festival was not just a pleasant experience for those browsing through the vendors’ offerings. The vendors themselves expressed their good feelings about the event.
“This is my third year here and it’s a great atmosphere,” said Scott Jenrich, a beekeeper who is perhaps most well-known for his display hive, which offers a glimpse into the lives of thousands of honey bees. “That’s my ‘Stop and Look’ thing,” said Jenrich of the display. “Most people have never seen honey bees before, so it’s educational.” Jenrich is a local honey producer from Lake Stevens and said the Homegrown Festival is one of the best venues from which he has sold honey.
“The way they operate everything is just top notch,” he said.
Other vendors had similar experiences. “This is my third year,” said Patti Gibbons, a soap-maker who owns Heavenly Soap, a shop in Monroe. Gibbons has been practicing her craft for almost 10 years. “It’s great, the weather is great too. I love it because it’s the only festival around that is just crafts, not crafts and commercial.”
It was a first time event for local crafters Jessica Slimak, Robyn Mangold, Marta Kurtz and Carly Dallas, who began selling their homemade goods on the merchant website Etsy.com under the store name The Burgundy Bow. “We are all local,” said Slimak. “It started as gifts for friends in the last year or so.”
“We all have kids,” said Kurtz. “We needed something to do. We made a lot of baby and kid items.”
The festival, which is organized by the Downtown Marysville Merchants Association, also benefited local Marysville business owners.
“I think it’s really neat that new customers are coming in,” said Patricia Schoonmaker, owner of Trusty Threads on Third Street. “That’s why the DMMA does this — to promote downtown shopping.”
Downtown Marysville was bustling with those interested in getting a glimpse of affordable, fair trade and locally produced goods on all three days, and the festival’s presence brought a lot of interested shoppers into stores on Third Street and even surrounding areas.
Event coordinator Vicki Miniken, owner of Vintage Violets, said the total number of people attending the event was between 3,000 and 5,000.
“It was amazing,” said Miniken. “We had a lot of returning vendors, but also a lot of new vendors who we put at the forefront of the festival.” Miniken said that this year they introduced vendors offering more art products, in addition to homemade crafts, which brought in a new type of visitor. “We had a lot more people this year who were interested in the art side of things,” she said.
Miniken noted that the addition of Sunday was a success and included the Right Price Roundup, a game show that drew a big crowd. “We had wonderful prizes from the downtown merchants, no one went home empty-handed,” she said. “It was a big draw, a huge success and a lot of fun.” Vendors also appreciated the third day opportunity to sell their wares. “It was definitely welcome by the vendors. They really liked it. You might be able to expect a three-day event next year.”
“I love the feel of it. It’s my favorite festival and I love being the coordinator,” said Miniken. For more information on the festival contact the Downtown Marysville Merchants Association at www.marysvillemerchants.com.