Story by Bridget Gibley, Reporter
Photo courtesy of Bridget Gibley
Despite strong winds and heavy rain midday on Sept. 10, the 44th annual Eastown Streetfair continued. Local artists covered their jewelry with towels or moved their displays into the next tent as they waited out the rain.
The Streetfair is an annual event hosted by the Eastown Community Association and the Eastown Business Association meant to celebrate art, music, food, and community. There were over 140 vendors present at the event, including White Feather Studio, displaying ceramic mugs and vases; A Window into Whimsy, offering paper and fabric crafts; and Gallery 154, showcasing handmade jewelry by Kate Lichtenstein.
Live music was also offered, featuring local bands and performers such as Triumph Music Academy, Potatoe Babies, and The Legal Immigrants.
Jim Kidder, of Beads by Jim, called for customers to come into his tent and out of the rain. He picked up the towels covering his jewelry and explained how the pieces were made: in the summer, he goes to Panama to get stones, which are then made into necklaces or earrings.
But not all of the artists go that far: Cameron Wood, of Urban Zeal Art, is from the area and creates abstract art prints. He has been drawing all his life and can now make a print in anywhere from two to five hours.
The vendors’ reactions to the rain differed–some were jokingly offering water bottles of “fresh rain water,” while some were telling customers to come back later, after they had recovered from their tents blowing over.
Marianne Gardner, of Bird and Feather, had to rearrange her displays after her partner left for the day, leaving her with empty space. She admitted that the rain had put a damper on the fair, but it is still one of her favorite events. Being from California, she says she had missed the rain and storms.
“You take it for granted when you have it,” Gardner said about the rain.
This year, for the Eastown Streetfair, Grand Rapids certainly had it.