Fairhope Art Festival – Wales West


We did the Fairhope Art Festival last weekend, the one that the Chamber of Commerce runs.  There is also one that Fairhope Art Center runs.  They are two shows kind of blend together as they come together on one street.

The Chamber show is well organized and run as they’ve been doing it for over 60 years.   They provide a breakfast for artists all three days with cheesy grits and/or shrimp grits, plus the usual fruit and doughnuts.   They have a dinner for the artists Friday night where they hand out some substantial awards.  One free ticket per booth space, you can purchase extras.  The staff and volunteers are helpful and friendly.

Couple noted things… one make sure you stay in your booth space.  They give you a 10×12 space.  No extra room behind, but a couple of feet extra on the side.  Booths are set up in quads.  You can purchase a premium corner spot, which means that you are facing the incoming traffic.   But I’m not really sure all the spots are premium.  There doesn’t seem to be a bad spot in the show as people come in from everywhere, but I think that the main street Fairhope Ave probably gets the most traffic.

The show is a mix of art, crafts and unfortunately this year some crap displays.   I’m hoping that was just a fluke.  They are not on zap and you need to go through the Eastern Shore Chamber to sign up.

Last year is was a very good show for us, despite being closed on Sunday do to horrid weather.  This year is was slow and most of the artists agreed that crowds and sales were down.  And unfortunately the big ticket items weren’t moving at all.   We are up in the air if we will do it again, because of sales.   But the show is very well run and they even make you show your ID to set up.  How refreshing is that?

We are staying at Wales West RV resort, located in Silver Hills about 15 minutes from Fairhope.


It is a really nice campground with a train theme.  They have some small trains that run throughout the weekend and mostly on the weekend.  Very adorable. Dame Ann

The campground has good sized spaces.  Nice laundry room, single shower and bathroom spaces and an indoor pool.   They also have some sort of a wood shop or such.   Very nice friendly people.  I’d definitely stay here again.   They have several events that run throughout the year, right now the whole place is done up with Easter bunny theme.  Christmas is a big time for them with the train.   Relatively inexpensive to stay.


How do I respond to that?

At our last show in Florida, Artigras, we had some extra time to chat with fellow artists.  The conversation eventually lead to crazy things people say to you at an art show.  The artist we were talking with was an outstanding wildlife artist specializing in under water pictures of the sea life.

Anyhow.. here are our top picks of the things people say to us and how we want to respond even if we don’t…

#1 Q: ” Were you in the water when you took the picture?”  (picture of underwater scene)

A: “No, I put a GoPro on a stick!”

#2 Q: ” Is that a fresh water sea turtle or a salt water sea turtle?”

A:  Do you think sea turtle is spelled with a C or what?”

#3 Q: “How do you get the manatee to jump out of the water for the picture?”

A: “You jump in and scare them!”

But the favorite crazy thing said to us at the show was from a volunteer.  My husband asked her why we had to wait for the concessions to move out before we got to bring in our vehicles to break down and move out.

“It’s because they do this for a living.”

I’m sure there is a productive way to respond to this.. my husband was gracious when he said “do you see anything wrong with what you just said?”  And when the person said, “huh?”  He just said, “I can’t explain if you don’t.” And left it at that… I’m afraid I might have spilled a few less kind words at that point, so glad I wasn’t there.

All in all, the show was ok.  Sales seems were down as a whole, but it was still a pleasant show.  Wonderful lunch, breakfast and snacks provided.  Bathroom facilities and helpful volunteers.  Big show though.. lots of artists from all ends of the spectrum.

RV dry camp is provided at the show.  Very nice, though we ended up staying at the Lion Country Safari KOA camp.

Lion Country Safari was a nice place.  Great facilities.  Everything wonderful.. except one small thing.  They had a recorded tape that ran all hours of lions and other jungle beasts making noise.  It was poorly amplified, so at 3 am you would get a chorus of what I can only describe as drunk wild breasts hollering.. and again at 5 am and again through out the day.  So despite everything else being nice, we will pass next time..