New folk festival layout popular with vendors

Posted Aug. 24, 2008, at 11:09 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine – As in real estate, the important part for craft vendors in selling merchandise often is location, location, location. That was the case at this weekend’s American Folk Festival on the Bangor Waterfront, and the majority of vendors agreed that this year’s setup was better than at previous festivals.

“We saw more people coming through [Friday] night than we have any year,” Kathy Koveleski of Sew’n Wild Oats in Ocean Park said.

The nearly 40 vendors changed locations this year and found themselves set up along the approximately quarter-mile stretch that took festival-goers to food and the dance tent — two significant attractions at the festival.

In previous years, people had to make an effort to find the craft vendors rather than pass by them on their way to get a bite to eat or dance the salsa.

“The change in locations is fantastic for safety reasons and for crowd issues,” Koveleski said. “It gives crafters more exposure.”

Although it’s a little more difficult for Koveleski to sell at a summer venue because she makes winter fleece accessories, she said it’s definitely worth the gas money and hotel costs to come to Bangor for the festival.

“It’s really hard for me because I sell winter stuff, but most of the people I know are doing the local shows and not going out of state anymore,” she said.

Mark Amon of Fish River Crafts in Fort Kent was displaying the wooden marionettes he sells and said the price of gas to make the trip south was a minor detail.

“Business has been pretty good,” he said.

A few vendors weren’t so sure, including Stanley Sayers of Mic-Mac Indian Crafts & Tanned Hides in Jonesport.

“It’s been slow this year,” he said, blaming the economy.

The vendor area stayed busy Friday and Saturday, and the vendors said they’d be able to calculate their success after they closed up Sunday night.

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