Yesterday I did my annual vending at the Valemount Christmas Fair. The Village of Valemount is an hour’s drive east of McBride. I have been going to the Valemount Fair for decades. For me these Christmas Fairs are as much about catching up with the lives of acquaintances as they are about selling and buying things. It is the only time all year that I see a lot of these Valemount people.
I always seem to have a lot of interesting encounters and conversations at these fairs. Yesterday a couple of maybe 5th grade girls came up to my table, each with a five dollar bill in their hands, and I assumed they were interested in buying one of my cartoon calendars, but they surprised me by buying cards of my paintings. I heard later from another vendor who saw them walk off that when they took the cards out of the plastic sleeve, they were thrilled to discover they also gotten an envelope.
I was surprised when a teenager, who I figured was a high school student wanted to buy two of my calendars, and handed me a $100 bill as payment. Where did a kid get a $100 bill?
As part of my sales pitch I often tell people to look at their birthday on the trivia calendar to see if anything interesting happened on that day. I told on high school guy to do that and he checked and I asked him what happened on that day, and he replied, “Some lady rode a horse.” I didn’t remember any trivia like that so I looked myself. It was May 31st, and on that date in 1678 Lady Godiva rode the horse through the village. I had to explain to the guy who Lady Godiva was, and why that ride was interesting. What’s wrong with male youth of today that they don’t know who Lady Godiva was?
The day before the fair, I got a call from one of my regular Valemount customers who called asking me to reserve 8 calendars for them. I was happy to do it.
It always me feel good when people come up to my table and tell me that they only reason they came to the fair was to get one of my calendars. One woman walked over and said she had already walked out the door when she remembered she hadn’t bought a calendar, so she came back.
The Valemount High School, who sponsor the fair always have a lottery for a huge pile of junk food. There are bags and bags of chips and lots of chocolate bars. I bought three tickets, but like every other year I failed to win, which is probably a good thing for my health.
I did quite well at the fair, selling 51 calendars, 17 cards, and 3 big prints of my paintings. Valemount is the last fair in the season that I participate in, so now I can relax and count my money.
You can look at all my photo-realistic paintings at: davidmarchant.ca