A weekend I will never forget! I participated in my first festival, the Oatka Festival in LeRoy, New York.
I have had paintings pouring out of me since I started making time for what I found I needed to do to feel more alive, more like my true self….creating! (More on that in my 1st blog post). As I created, I thought it would be fun to share my paintings with others who may be interested in that aspect of my life, so I started a Facebook page (Vicki McArdle - Artist and Quilter). I am so grateful for the motivating, supportive and encouraging comments and messages I receive as I post. Additionally, as people inquire to purchase my work, I am so grateful. To be able to connect with people through creating artwork is such a majestic feeling to me.
To give back, I enjoy donating my work. This year, after donating to an event in LeRoy that benefits local school students, it was suggested to me that I participate in the Oatka Festival. How fun! I applied, and was accepted to my first festival!! Then…came SO much work and so many questions! Where would I get a tent (thanks Melissa, from Paw-Tastic Portraits), how much inventory do I need, how should I set up….I had (and still have) a lot to learn….
Perhaps what I love the most about the Oatka Festival is how family friendly and community driven the event is. It really is impressive. Not only is the scenery beautiful as it is held on the banks of the Oatka Creek, but it kicks off with a huge musical parade! My kids love to hear the bands, see the fire trucks and especially chase after candy that is thrown on the ground near them - Liam made sure they were prepared with a bucket this year! :)
Another unique way kids are able to participate in the festival is through the Fishing Derby. My 5 year old son, his daddy and grandpa fished for FOUR hours the morning of the derby. With a half an hour to spare, he hooked a 7 inch perch to come in first in his age bracket (4-6 year olds) for the second straight year. He was so proud and so happy. :)
Another highlight of the Oatka Festival is the exciting Duck Derby. I bought a duck ticket for each of my kids this year and we watched as all of the rubber ducks made it across the Oatka to the finish line….and what do you know - out of all of those ducks, grandpas crossed first! Unbelievable!
THANK YOU, to ALL, for a memorable weekend. Thank you to all involved in the Oatka Festival for having me. Thank you to all who supported me, and for all of the wonderful compliments. I am grateful. It was a wonderful experience, across the board. I look forward to participating in more festivals in the future.
:)! All smiles,