The custom family letter sign is from Wood Fairy Signs located in Salem. Brier Creek Primitives out of West Virginia creates a variety of yard signs. Both business owners will be at Saturday’s fall festival.Shawn Nowlin
Finding a family activity that appeals to all ages can be a difficult thing. The first-ever West Salem Fall Festival will take place on September 12 and event organizers are hopeful that everyone who attends has a great time. Terry Kelly, owner of Salem Antique Market, Connie Drennen, owner of Main Street Primitives and Pamela Mann, owner of Vintage Vault, are responsible for bringing the festival to fruition.
“We began our preparation by contacting a few premier vendors to insure they were ready and willing to set up for such an event. We then verified that we would be able to have the event and meet the current mandates for Virginia concerning the pandemic,” Mann said.
She added, “Based on responses, knowing that even if we only got five or six vendors, it would be a safe and successful event. We put together a vendor application form, decided how much space we each had to offer while still allowing for parking and posted the event on our Facebook pages.”
Because COVID-19 is still a threat, many notable Salem events had to be canceled this year. When Mann heard that the 2020 Olde Salem Days wasn’t going to happen, she was disappointed. “Olde Salem Days not only brings thousands of shoppers to town, it also gives many artists and craftsmen an opportunity to sell their wares. All businesses are suffering due to loss or slowed sales during COVID-19, but artists and craftsmen can still conduct business through things like festivals,” she said.
Kelly, Drennen and Mann hope to see between 100 and 250 people at the West Salem Fall Festival. Twenty-five vendors are expected to participate in the event with everything from jewelry to hand-painted signs available for purchase. The festival will start at 9 a.m. and last for eight hours. Parking will be available at Kemba and Blue Eagles Credit Union.
When asked what she is most looking forward to about the festival, Salem native Cristina Treadwell said, “Three words: variety of options. There is nothing like getting a quality item for a reasonable price. It’s even better when you are supporting someone locally.”
To ensure the safety of everyone, patrons will be asked to wear a face-covering and practice social distancing. “We are asking that everyone wear a mask, maintain the proper social distancing whenever possible and be considerate of other shoppers and the vendors,” Mann said. “If this festival goes well, and I think it will, there will be even more events before the end of the year.”