Valley festivals crucial this year for vendors
It's not summer in the Valley without an array of fairs, festivals, and events.
This summer, more so than usual, they're a much-needed escape from reality.
"IT'S A BREATH OF FRESH AIR TO BE OUT WITHOUT A MASK AND TALK WITH PEOPLE AND NOT FEEL LIKE WE'RE GOING TO GET SICK," said one festival-goer.
For the vendors, many of whom only have a few opportunities like this in a season to make their bread, it's a much-needed boost.
"LAST YEAR WE DID VERY LITTLE BECAUSE OF THE PANDEMIC; THIS YEAR THIS IS OUR FIRST MAJOR EVENT OUT," said one vendor. "A LOT OF THE VENDORS WERE WORRIED WE COULD EVEN GET THIS YEAR OFF THE GROUND. THANK GOD WE GOT THE ITALIAN FEST GOING ON AND THE CANFIELD FAIR ON THE WAY."
The Columbiana County Fair is the second event of the season for West Virginia lemonade vendor Curt Parkins.
He says some vendors he knows didn't even show because they couldn't find help.
But at least he's holding his own.
"YOU'RE NOT REALLY GONNA MAKE UP FOR WHAT YOU LOST LAST YEAR, YOU JUST TAKE ADVANTAGE WHEN THE OPPORTUNITY IS AVAILABLE," said Parkins.
For Saint Patrick's Church in Hubbard recovering from a devastating fire in January, the festival that kicked off Thursday is a lifeline.
"ALL OF OUR MINISTRIES, EDUCATION, EVERYTHING HAS TO BE SUBSIDIZED BY THE PARISH, OUR WORK STILL GOES ON TO THE FESTIVAL HELPS ALL OF THAT," said church pastor Mike Swierz.
If you head to one of our Valley's festivals this weekend you'll be helping too.