Despite the continual sprinkling of rain, Main Street Portsmouth held its Main Street Sidewalk and Street Sale Saturday, local vendors and Main Street’s great stores all had a positive attitude about the day’s event.
Joseph Pratt, executive director of Main Street, said the vendors did all their registration online. “We have wonderful spreadsheets that have all the information for the vendors, and we have 21 registered vendors and the numbers did drop because some of them did not show up for the day,” he said. “Some had called earlier in the week to cancel,due to proms and other things that they didn’t realize were happening on this day.
”Honestly, with it being as wet and rainy as it is, I’m extremely impressed with our vendors because, as you can see, we still have over a dozen vendors here that are set up and dealing with the rain. It’s also been a really fun day, because the kids are here with their parents, and I love that. First of all, I love these kind of events, because parents bring their kids, and kids get to learn work ethic and they get to learn what it takes to make a business happen. And, what’s really fun is, because of the rain, the kids have had a lot more fun today than they would have had otherwise.
”There were some kids with their mom looking bored, and the rain started to come, and they hit the bottom of her tent and soaked her, and my wife and I wondered what would happen,” Pratt said. “The mom just got them right back, and they just started playing in the rain. So, yes, it’s been a good day.”
He also said the sales are only one part of the day. “It’s great that people can give their cards out for their businesses and people can check them out.” He added that one thing they are going to change, because they didn’t have to pay for the inflatables, “we are going to use that to reimburse the people who did come today and credit for the next one, the first Saturday in July. The big change I’m making is this week, I’m going to get permits to close the road the second week of July, and then I’m not going to use it unless I have to, so if it rains, we’re just gonna have it the next week.”
Humorously, he said, “When it comes to events, it has to be raining fire for me to cancel an event.”
Dustie King of Initials Inc. said, “[The rain] doesn’t bother me a bit. I’ve had quite a few people today. I think a lot of people haven’t heard of Initials Inc., because Thirty One started within six months to a year apart from us, and it just sort of took off really quickly from what I’ve read and everything. I have been with Initials Inc. since September, and I love their products. We may be priced a little higher, but we do not charge for the standard initial. There may be some icons we charge for, but not the initialing. We have a variety of fonts, colors and patterns.”
Ashley Griffith and Crystal Shuff from Fantastic Sam’s joined the local vendors beating the rain. “The rain is not bothering us, but it might be bothering the people who are walking around in it.” Fantastic Sam’s was passing out samples, plus free water to anyone who wanted it.
Local vendor Dee Russell said, “Nothing you can do about the rain. I’ve sold a few things today.” Russell collects odd driftwood pieces from scouring the Ohio River bank, hunting what he says is hidden treasures that he uses in his unusual folk art. He says his love for music inspired him to assemble the mini-art guitars and such, and that no one is exactly alike. Russell also had a variety of walking sticks he also hand carved. “This is my part of cleaning the riverbank,” Russell said.
Crystal and Tim Wallace of The Vinyl Corner in Wheelersburg said, “We’ve done okay. We’ve had fun.”
Grace Bennett with her mom, Julia, Aunt Angel and friend Katie Ramey, was on the street selling her Gab Makeup. Bennett was recently featured in The Daily Times as a young entrepreneur, and has now been interviewed by Channel 10 News, and says her little business is growing faster than she could have dreamed. Bennett has been selling her makeup online and at Saturday’s street sale. What is impressive about Bennett is that she is continually trying out new stuff to add to her makeup line for young girls, and already has new things since her first interview.
Jessi Swords from West Portsmouth and Jennifer Meenach from Minford were under their tent trying to stay dry, selling signs made from old pallets. They, really don’t have a business, they said, but they sell at places like the Main Street event. Some of the signs said things like “Fur Mama” and “but first … Coffee,” sayings about home and living.
For those who peeked in the window of The Happy Pot on Main Street, it was just like peering through the looking glass with five young princesses inside. The princesses posed for photos in front of owner Cinnamon Wellington’s ceramic materials that she sells and which people come and make in her shop. “Our employee, Molly Taylor, Portsmouth West’s River Days candidate, was one of the princesses, and 20% of our profits for the day will go toward Molly’s platform.”
Parked on Main Street was Smokin’ Joe’s BBQ truck from Minford, where proprietors were selling their wonderful-smelling warm food for a wet cool day. The ladies working on this dreary day said they were not disappointed in the weather, and said they would be at the next street sale. One of the ladies said they set up in Minford at Muletown every Thursday ,plus they cater weddings, parties, graduations and other events.
All in all, everyone who turned out for Saturday’s event — vendors and visitors alike — did not let the weather detour them from enjoying a day out on Main Street.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins at 740-353-3101 ext. 1928