Swat Here and There July 11, 2013 00:00

St. Nectarios Greek festival in Palatine, Illinois was held on the weekend of June 22, 2013. It almost didn't happen for me. I loaded the van and in an hour I arrived at a rainy Palatine. Parked the van and walked underneath the tent, remembering feeling proud that I have arrived and quickly realized there wasn't any space for me.  All six of the vendor spaces along the back of the tent were taken and filled with merchandise and their owners.

The organizer finally arrives and she says to me, "Didn't you get my message?" I answered, "No'. Then she proceeds to tell me the whole story. The truth be told is that day, Friday, I was so busy preparing that I didn't pick up the phone to check messages. If I did, I would have heard her heart breaking message.  After a lengthy discussion with the organizer we were able to find a solution. I and another vendor were placed in the middle area in front of the six vendors. What a great space it was! We weren't blocked like the others and our merchandise was exposed on three sides (see pictures).

Although I may have been miserable but there was one sale that made it all worth it. Yes, miserable. Not so much Friday night but Saturday and Sunday yes. A few years ago, I noticed that before the festival began volunteers were spraying the underneath of the tables and chairs with an insect repellant. This year they didn't. The insects were horrible. Not so much mosquitoes, there were flies, gnats, whizzing by and always near were you were standing. My legs were covered in bites. It seemed the repellant bug spray I was using wasn't working and probably because I was sweating a lot and weakening its effectiveness. I wasn't happy.  Many people complained too. Lots of hand swatting going on. Occasionally, a burst of wind would blow through the tent and push all the bugs away.

In addition to the three tables that were facing aisles, two structural poles that held up the tent were enclosed in my booth. With quick thinking I was able to tie a bungee cord between the two poles and hang a few medallions and my Kantyli banner. With the banner hanging I believe it helped bring people over to the area. Two tables are completely filled with products. One table has the Greek name key chains and pencils occupying every inch of space. The second table has the Greek picture frames organized in a plastic box which stores a different title in each. The third table is the messy table that displays the Yiayia Koutala coffee mug, lapel pins, and coasters. Not really organized yet but, hopefully they will with the upcoming shows. Also was able to display the Greek Church book poster on a stand that gathered lots of people looking at the all the Midwest Greek Orthodox Churches AND two vertical racks that displayed the Greek home decoration oval signs.

If you haven't come out yet to see me, you still have your chance. This weekend there's the third Greek festival in the Chicago that I will be attending. It will take at St. Andrew's Greek Orthodox Church in Chicago located at 5649 N. Sheridan Road on Saturday, July 13, 2013 from 3pm to 11pm and Sunday, July 14, 2013 from noon to 11pm. Come by and say 'hi'.