It’s not often that we have shoppers on horseback come by our booth at events, but we had some yesterday. The neighboring small rural town of Grandfield Oklahoma had their annual “Western Days” Celebration again, and this year, we were Vendors for the event. We had been there before as event participants, but this was our first year to have a booth. Vehicle traffic is blocked off and booths are set up on both sides of the “main downtown” street. Stores that are still in business have sales, store buildings that are still good buildings but no longer in business invite garage salers to set up in them, and stores that are no longer in operation have booths set up in front of them. We were actually set up in front of what used to be a store, but the entire building has been demolished except for the “store front”, or street-side wall, doors, and windows. You can’t even tell that there isn’t a building behind it until you take a peek through one of the painted widows to see nothing but Oklahoma prairie behind the glass. It reminded me of the Hollywood movie prop buildings.
At 1:00, the parade came down the street with nearly everything that I expect to see in a small town parade, including Color Guard, Royalty, Antique Vehicles, Floats, Clowns, Dignitaries, and horses; lots of horses. If you missed anything the first time, the parade made a U-turn at the end of the route, and came by for a second time. (First time I’ve seen that, but what a great idea!) What better way to get everyone back to their pickups, cars and trailers back at the parade starting point?
The only thing missing was a Marching Band, and I don’t think that the community has a school band program any longer, but there was a band stand set up across the street from us that provided non-stop musical entertainment all day long. From local harmonica players to really talented Karaoke singers of all ages, to dancers in the street, it was a nice day of entertainment. The square dancers and square dance caller from Texas were great. The Cheerleaders were a hit as always, and the pint-sized Mexican Hat Dancers were a crowd pleaser.
The cost of booth space? Nothing. The cost to attend as a visitor? Nothing. The biggest seller in the booths? Probably the food, lots of different kinds of foods, mostly prepared on-site. With the cost of booth space seemingly getting higher and higher, I hope other communities take a page from this town’s playbook on how to have a really nice annual event.
CD in Oklahoma