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Walking down Watermelon Way: Talking to vendors and others on Melonfest Day 1

On my wanderings through the alleys of vendors and food trucks, I made a few stops.

Drifting north from our spot just west of the Colliseum, my photographer Tyler Cox and I came to the Clearly Charming tent, where Kim Kresin and Jimmy Pierce from Temecula in Southern California sell laser cut magnetic picture frames and magnets as well as homemade costume jewelry. “We make everything in the booth ourselves.” Kresin said. She and Pierce came to Hope from selling at Cheyenne, Wyoming at Cheyenne Days and, before that, Spearfish, South Dakota. Asked why the two had come to Hope to set up shop, Kresin said “It’s a cute town. It’s a cute little festival.”

A little further north, we visited the tent of Ron Beck, now based in Beedeville, Arkansas, who does Airbrush tattoos on people, but “I do t-shirts, too,” he said. His t-shirt designs can last, he said, until the shirt itself wears out. He also sells handmade toys, shields and swords.

A few more steps north and we encountered Trinity Lacy with a demonstrator of Leaf Filter’s replacement gutters complete with flowing water that don’t have to be cleaned because of a metal mesh that keeps leaves, straw and other matter out. Those who stop can arrange for a contingent from a Shreveport location to come give homeowners a free estimate. Lacy said just for stopping by their booth at the Watermelon Festival customers get a coupon that helps them save money should they have the product installed.

From here, we went into the Horticulture Building where we found an Herb Conscious booth. Herb Conscious is from Oklahoma and sells products that all come directly from the earth. “We’re in our first year of business. This is how we’re getting off the ground,” said Sarah Irvin, Owner and CEO, who grew up in Arkansas herself. On display were herbal tinctures, hemp fanny packs, natural soaps.

Next, our eye was caught Pam Wright’s display pieces which she designs herself. Many of them were of beach scenes, which she told us were inspired by having lived in Hawaii for a while, where she lived after being transferred there to be a store manager. She is well-travelled, having lived in Alaska, Hawaii, North Dakota, “and now here.”

Pictures by Tyler Cox.

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