Barnaby’s and Fried Pickles….(or the Anatomy of a Great Arts Festival)

Being a Florida State graduate, I’ll take pretty much any excuse to visit Tallahassee, so I love participating in the Springtime Tallahassee Arts Jubilee, and this year’s festival was no exception. I had dinner with some dear old friends Friday night, and on Saturday, I saw lots of old friends and met some new ones. And regardless of sales, two things always make a trip to Tallahassee uber-successful for me: Barnaby’s pizza and Po’ Boys fried pickles (not together, mind you…that would probably cause a serious case of what my students like to call “bubbleguts” :-). Had my Barnaby’s Friday night and my pickles Saturday for lunch. But if you add to that the Burger King I had for lunch Friday, the Krispy Kremes for breakfast Saturday, and the Zaxby’s in the car on the way home Saturday night, I ate more artery clogging food in that 30-hour span than I normally do in a month…but hey, I was in Tallahassee, so it didn’t count…kinda like what goes on the road, stays on the road….or the fact that birthday cake has zero calories.

Whitney and I enjoyed a great day at the festival. Here’s a picture of our booth. Sales were brisk and, as usual, we met a few interesting characters to add a little spice to our day…but I’ll not discuss them here so as not to embarrass anyone (though I’m not sure anything will ever top the 70-year-old cross dresser at the Riverside Arts Festival in September…pink high tops, fishnet stockings and all, he was quite a sight!). I also managed to spend less than I usually do at my average arts festival! That’s the downside to festivals in general for me: I’ve loved attending them, and purchasing art at them, for as long as I can remember, so that habit is unfortunately still heavily engrained in me! This was my third time participating in Springtime and it’s gotten better and better each year, but then again, the first year was a bit of a challenge….

My very first Springtime Tallahassee was also my very first juried arts festival. My husband (we’ll call him DH for darling husband) and the girls came over with me that year and we stayed with family in the area. DH helped me set up at the crack of dawn that Saturday morning (that’s the one downside to Springtime…it’s a one-day show with set-up and breakdown on the same day) and then went back to my cousins’ house to take care of the girls. Well by 9:30am that morning, we were dealing with some major wind….beautiful blue skies, but major wind…probably 20-25mph steady with 30-35mph gusts. What’s minimum wind for a tropical storm? 40? I was holding up pretty well with my heavy duty tent weights DH made me, but things were not exactly enjoyable, particularly since the adorable handbag booth next door to me did not seem to be quite as weighted as mine. (Little hint there…) So about 10am or so, that not very well weighted booth next door actually took flight, and I mean literally took flight, and flew into me. Handbags flew everywhere, and the lattice they were hanging on took out one set of my shelves and my work table. If you’ve ever seen my booth, you know that I use glass jars as part of my display. Did I mention we were set up in the street? I’m assuming you get the picture there. So in addition to losing some glass jars and a few pairs of earrings, on my worktable was my notebook, cash box and cell phone…oh, you mean the cell phone that was now laying on the ground cracked and smashed? Oh yeah! That cell phone! Which, of course, meant that I could not call DH for assistance. I cleaned up best I could and prayed things would settle down. I felt so badly for the girls next door; they were really sweet.

Anywho…about 30 minutes later, DH and the girls showed up and we took down the tent and the shelves so I wouldn’t have to fight the wind all day and just layed everything flat on the tables. Despite that, I still did fairly well in sales. Since we had taken down the tent, we let the couple on the other side of me use my tent weights since part of their display was incorporated into their tent walls and they really had to leave them up. They were festival veterans and, since I had told them this was my very first juried show, they kept encouraging me and told me that in the 12 years they had been doing festivals full time, they had never encountered this kind of sustained winds. Talk about trial by fire! I definitely experienced it with that show. Now, I check the weather….and pay very close attention to the wind forecast….daily the week prior to a show.
Coincidentally, that veteran couple was next door to me once again this year (I didn’t see them last year) and we reminisced over that windy day. They were happy to see that my first Springtime Tallahassee didn’t scar me for life!

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Anonymous said...

Kelly, I've been enjoying your blog for the last few weeks. But when I saw yesterday's story about Barnaby's I decided that I had to chime in and comment. I love Barnaby's as well! Back in the late 80's and early 90's I lived in Tallahassee for 7 years. In that time I came to love Barnaby's pizza. I'm not sure what it is exactly, whether it's the atmosphere in there or the pizza itself, either way every time we go to Tally I make it known that when it comes to going out to eat I want Barnaby's. My parents still live in Tallahassee and we go over at least once a month. Needless to say my folks aren't big fans of Barnaby's, so most of the time I get out-voted when it comes to restaurant choice. We went over for Springtime Tallahassee last weekend and after the parade my folks and my hubby decided that they wanted to eat at Sonny's (yuck). So I agreed and begrudginly drove right past Barnaby's in order to go to there. Anyway, just wanted to comment. I enjoy your blog and will continue to read it when I get a chance. Have a great day!

Kelly Warren said...

Hi Cristi, glad to hear I'm not the only still addicted after so mnay years!