Monday, June 19, 2017

Torrential Rains Red Fern Festival 2017

Torrential Rains
Canopies at outdoor shows don't mix!

was rescheduled to June 16-17, 2017
due to major storms in the forecast for the April dates. 
(Downtown Tahlequah flooded the original dates)

The weather report was clear and extremely hot.

Friday was to be 93 degrees with about 110 degree heat index.
Saturday was to be 96 with 115 heat index.
 A Heat Advisory Warning was issued.

Mark W. Hodson - State Farm
provided fans for me to hand out to help people fight the heat.

My canopy was set up at 6:45AM and I was ready for customers.

 This was up in the afternoon.
No customers. People weren't off work yet.

The girl in the purple canopy was doing her first show with her brand new canopy, tables and all the decorations.

I packed my stuff up and headed home at 8:00PM

Saturday, the day we know we would be busy was looking promising! No rain in forecast. Many great activities throughout downtown.

As I was getting ready I heard thunder. I thought "no way!" I hurried out to my truck since my fabric chair was in the back. It was already raining. I threw it inside the cab and got ready.

As I was driving to town...

the rain let up a bit.

Then it started! 70-80MPH wind gusts
Thunderstorm warning for Cherokee County.
Torrential rains.

My friend had already unloaded all her t-shirts and dresses and brochures for her store.
Here is what followed:

First one leg broke off. 
We were underneath holding on for dear life.

Then the second leg went... We were holding it up and down!

I went across the street and took a picture of Dee under it.

Here is her Facebook post

Here is the final resting place of my canopy

It is sitting flat on the ground. Notice that all four legs are gone.
Look at the purple canopy.

We made out better than many!

Some of the vendors waited until the storms past. Trees had fallen over. Power was out.

When they arrived their canopies and merchandise were blown away or ruined. We wrung out Dee's shirts and dresses and told everyone they had been pre-washed. Our joke of the day.

I tell you I laughed so hard when my canopy completely gave way. I have been chuckling about it off and on today. It was a soggy, slow motion comedy!


A huge thank you to Drew Haley, Director of Tahlequah Main Street. He organizes this event every year. This is the first of 11 years that he actually had a staff member to help him. This is a huge festival. A big boost for the Tahlequah economy. Thank you Drew for all you do!

Thank you to the people who came out and volunteered to check in the vendors and deliver change and ice. They also ended up helping to stand up canopies after the storms.

Thank you for Northeastern Health System(formerly Tahlequah City Hospital) for having medical staff at the event.


My canopy top is going to someone as a back up for their canopy. The aluminum legs will be going to recycling.


Sometimes in life you just have to smile!


Roxanne watercolorsnmore said...

WOW what a stressful time. So sorry for all the damage AND to your spirit as well.

I remember the festival days. Never completely lost my tent, but sure came close. Mine was a dome top and it resisted the weather/winds a bit more.
But, IF you get a strong enough wind, nothing withstands it.

Christie Cottage said...

Thanks Roxanne

I thought it was funny. Still do. If you had seen the stages as it was collapsing you would too.

We survived.


Pamela Baker said...

Sounds like the Craft Show from hell! Glad to see you were able to smile throughout the storm -hopefully, although your tent didn't make it, that you didn't lose too much merchandise.
Had a similar situation a few years ago at a Fair in Bethel CT - a beautiful sunny day - had all my items tagged and everything set up perfectly. A sudden wind and heavy rain storm came from out of nowhere - not even time to put anything away. Lost a few pair of earrings in the wind; my tags all nicely handwritten in ink, basically dissolved. When the sun finally came out, we did out best to put everything back together - finally drying ourselves off, and life basically got back to normal. So I totally understand your rainy show!
Hope you got a few sales anyway!

First Light Glass said...

Yikes! Glad you are okay!

Gilded Owl Musings said...

One are hurricane speed winds! Congrats on surviving it! So sorry it ruined the sales, tho. Double sales next time! 😁

ShadowDogDesigns said...

Wow! What a mess. And for the storm to not even be in the forecast! What made it even worse is that you were set up on pavement. Since I do a lot of shows here in West Texas, where the winds almost always blow hard, I spike, ratchet, hang weights at each corner and wrap each leg with weights. But none of our shows are on pavement. Fortunately my tent has vents at the top so it has never gone airborne. I remember one show where a storm came out of nowhere: torrential rain (was able to drop the sides quickly and get plastic over the jewelry), high winds, sun, more high wind, more rain, hail and then sun. And that was before the show had even started! The storm blew over and several vendors lost their tents and several packed up and left, but I stayed. It turned out to be a gorgeous day and I had great sales.

Am so glad you survived and were able to laugh about it.

Butterfly In The Attic said...

Wow crazy!!!

Linda Blatchford said...

Wow, what an experience. Glad you're OK and able to laugh.

SolanaKaiDesigns said...

Oh my goodness! I have had to deal with winds by the beach but this, hands down, tops anything I've ever experienced. I admire your attitude! I would have quit and never done another show. Oh wait, I have quit doing them! :) My hat is off to you!

Cathy Morgan said...

Sorry you had to deal with that but I like the attitude you have. Sometimes you just have to laugh when things go bad.

PrettyGonzo said...

Well, I'm sure glad you're okay, Jacki! And I sure hope you don't have to go through anything like that again. :)

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