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July 19, 2014

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I have one friend, a local crafter, who won an award one year and was not juried in the following year. I find that ridiculous and the opposite of what a friendly, community centered event should be. It is virtually impossible for us working folks to be able to afford anything. I agree the food choices are sad, though I understand the idea of letting community groups fundraise - I would hope there is a middle ground - there is nothing I can eat at this point. I am a 44 year crafter at Oregon Country Fair and understand exactly what you are saying about the experience - great things at Salem Art Festival, but short of high end shopping, so little to embrace.

I found three great new booths. I was happy to see some vendors with lower priced items so that all had a chance to get something.

They need more places to buy water along the north/south path and more places to sit.

However, I don't think they should charge people to get in. I don't think they should banish Salem artists.

I wonder if there are fewer non-profit booths due to lower attendance that I think started with them charging an entrance fee. The booths are extremely work intensive and it's very hot in those small cooking areas.

Thanks for the great post. My wife and I are new to Salem. We have lived in Raleigh before arriving here. After seeing so many fantastic city-wide festivals in the South, and in Portland, it's difficult to justify the Salem Art Fair entrance fee. Why should we pay this fee, when we could visit Portland's Saturday market, or any number of other venues? Repeatedly, Salem has shown us we are not welcome. After getting nickle and dimed at Riverfront park, and elsewhere in Salem, we just say: Go to Portland! Other young families in Salem like us probably do the same? Food for thought.

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