ALPENA – Mother Nature cooperated, with not a raindrop in sight during Art on the Bay, held Saturday and Sunday at Bay View Park in Alpena.
Vendors and organizers were very happy with the turnout, and the weather.
“It was a terrific show,” said Clint Kendziorski, Thunder Bay Arts Council first vice president. “The weather held out. The vendors did exceptionally well this year.”
Some even sold out. Some food vendors sold out of product the first day, but ran out to get more to feed Sunday’s attendees, Kendziorski said.
It’s hard to say how many people attended Art on the Bay, as there is no gate or entry fee, but vendors were happy with the business, and many plan to return next year. Kendziorski said the event normally brings in at least 3,000 people.
Robert and Estelle Williams have been selling at Art on the Bay for over 20 years. The Eaton Rapids couple owns Busy Bird custom-made crafts, which include magnetic bracelets made with semi-precious stones, as well as retro aprons, pet toys and other items.
“We always trade with other crafters,” Robert Williams said. “It’s kind of a nice thing, because craft shows are where you can get very unique, fine pieces.”
He really enjoys the atmosphere at Art on the Bay.
“We’ve got a lot of repeat business here,” Robert Williams said. “This area supports crafts very well. The crew up front, the organizers, take care of all the various crafters, so everybody’s got a nice place set up. People here are very supportive.”
He said his wife’s aprons sold really well at the show.
“My wife’s aprons are so popular,” Robert Williams said. “In fact, she set a record with sales here today. More aprons in 21 years than she’s sold anyplace. And we do a show at Michigan State.”
Williams is going on 80 years old, although he could probably pass for 65. He and his wife enjoy the shows, and plan to be back here next year.
A few aisles over, 16-year-old Justin Schaedig was busy selling his many crocheted and stitched items, from oven mitts to bowl cozies to tote bags, and much more. He even crochets stuffed bunnies and octopuses for babies and toddlers.
He started learning to sew from his late grandmother, Diane Schaedig. He busied himself making items throughout the pandemic, and now he is happily selling them.
“I learned how to sew the basics (in school), and then, my grandma taught me how to crochet the basics,” Justin Schaedig said. “And then, when COVID hit, this is what I took up.”
He was excited to have a lot of business over the weekend. This was his first time at Art on the Bay.
“It’s been great, compared to other shows that we have done,” Justin Schaedig. “So, we look forward to coming back next year.”
“We’re here to support him, both his dad and I,” said Justin’s mom, Peggy Schaedig. Her husband is Randy Schaedig. “He’s trying to earn money for college.”
Beth MacArthur creates handmade deco mesh wreaths and candle holders. Her husband Mike MacArthur helps with setup and selling. The Alpena couple enjoys participating in Art on the Bay.
“We’ve had a beautiful weekend,” she said.
Reach Lifestyles Editor Darby Hinkley at [email protected] or 989-358-5691.