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Strong showing for Street Faire

Trinkets galore. Street Faire at the Lakes visitors browse through a table of jewelry, looking to find just the right item last Friday afternoon. The new Friday-Saturday schedule was deemed a great success by event organizer Mary Beth Gilsdorf. "...we had different crowds on both days -- and excellent turnout both days, too," she said.

Though stormy weather threatened this weekend's Street Faire at the Lakes a few times, the skies were predominantly sunny on both Friday and Saturday -- and the crowds responded in kind.

"I can say without hesitation that the Friday-Saturday schedule was a great success," said Street Faire committee member Mary Beth Gilsdorf. "It definitely met the goal of accommodating both the work-week people and the weekenders, because we had different crowds on both days -- and excellent turnout both days too.

"The artists and food vendors were very happy -- and we saw lots of packages from downtown businesses as well -- so it was really a win-win-win weekend!" Gilsdorf added. "It was just what we needed to re-fuel our energy for making plans for our 11th anniversary -- which you can count on being a Friday-Saturday show again."

"I had the opportunity to visit with each and every exhibitor and food vendor, and they were all extremely positive that we changed to a Friday Saturday (from the Saturday-Sunday schedule of previous years)," said Sue Braun, another organizer who has been involved with the Street Faire since its inception 10 years ago.

"The weather was beautiful when it was sunny, and not really too bad even when it was sprinkling, because it was warm," Braun added. "The entertainment was really great and we had good crowds to sit and listen to the music and enjoy some wonderful culinary delights."

One of the vendors who provided those "culinary delights," Greg Paranteau of Oof-Da Tacos, said the crowds were very good on Friday, and even better on Saturday.

"Our sales were very strong," he said, adding that switching the schedule was a good idea.

"The atmosphere was very festive, and it was great having WDAY there and to broadcast (the evening news) live," Paranteau added. "It's been great being there for the last 10 years -- here's hoping for many more to come."

"We have enjoyed being part of the DL Street Faire since its beginning," said D. Mae Ceryes of Jake's Syrups. "Every year it seems to get better and better."

Çeryes and her partner, Jerry Jacobson, said they both appreciated the fact that the Street Faire was a juried show, and an effort was made to have more hand-crafted vendor items.

"The Street Faire committee and volunteers are friendly and organized, and they really know how to let everyone know about the Faire," Jacobson added. "Since this was the first year of a Friday-Saturday show, we were very pleased at the turnout.

"The DLL Street Faire has been a very consistently good show for us, with returning customers coming back every year," he added. "Those loyal customers and fair-goers come out, rain or shine, to support the show."

"Some of our exhibitors who have been with us for all 10 years said this year was probably the best show they have ever had -- and some of our newer exhibitors are really excited about building up their clientele from DL and surrounding areas," added Braun.

"The customers have always enjoyed our open layout -- with plenty of room for shopping and socializing," said Gilsdorf. "I call it a 'stroller-friendly' show because there's enough room for families to come with kids, strollers, dogs -- the whole deal -- and not worry about bumping the stroller into people's ankles and getting dirty looks. 

"The open layout is also intended to keep the downtown businesses very visible and accessible, so customers can shop inside and out and really get the most out of what our downtown has to offer," she added. "Our Rotary clean team also keeps the streets and picnic areas spotless -- which has a direct impact on everyone's enjoyment of the show. 

"Basically it all makes for a low-stress, festive atmosphere, which is what we're shooting for, and I think our 10th Anniversary show this year was right on target!" said Gilsdorf.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454