It’s been nearly 14 years since Vicky Brosius participated in her first Harvest Festival with her husband Ron. She remembers long hours of prepping, her anxiousness before the doors opened and the bustling crowd that poured into Cashman Center when the festival began.
“We put out a lot of money on a booth, so we weren’t too sure what to think,” she said. “People were lined up outside. I was pretty nervous. It ended up being a fantastic show, though. I remember one lady buying seven of our trees. It exceeded my expectations and every show has been the same.”
Each year for the past decade, Brosius and her husband have joined about 250 other vendors for one of the largest arts and crafts festivals in the city.
The couple make and sell purses and holiday decorations — their best sellers being “the perfect purse,” a compartmental bag for easy organizing, and their “laser Christmas trees,” which have lights and customizable themes on the inside. Brosius has done themes such as Disney, Golden Knights, Halloween and more.
According to Brenda Meehan, spokeswoman for the event, the festival draws about 16,000 over the three days. With Cashman Center now closed, this year’s festival moves to the World Market Center, Pavilion 2. (The Review-Journal is a sponsor of the event.)
“A new venue is always exciting,” Brosius said. “A lot of my customers and friends are excited about what this one’s going to look like, and we are, too. I think it’s going to be good. Change is always good.”
The event provides a space for traditional artists, bakers and crafters to reach customers.
“The publicity is great for promoting artists,” landscape photographer Michael Tessler said. “I’m not sure how I would do that otherwise. I enjoy seeing visitors and talking to them about my work, sharing it with them. The Harvest Festival is great because it attracts so many people. There’s so many people to connect with.”
Tessler said his first Harvest Festival was nothing short of amazing. It was the first time he exhibited his photos at an indoor show.
“This is my second year with the Harvest Festival, and I’m looking forward to it again,” Tessler said. “It’s a great festival. I think it’s really cool to now have the arts festival in that that kind of setting.”
Business partners Karen Thompson and Linda Rodgers of Karen’s Krystal Brittles will be Harvest Festival first-timers. The two have been in business together for five years. Thompson has been making peanut brittle for 50. They’ve done several shows and farmers markets across the valley, exhibiting their philosophy to work and connect in the community.
“We think that it’s very important to support our local small businesses and business owners,” Rodgers said. “We’re very excited to participate. Since it is our first year, we do hope to grow our customer base.”
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