REMSEN, N.Y. -- As with much of 2020 in the form of events and large gatherings, the Remsen Barn Festival of the Arts had to be called off, but it’s not a total derailment. The Remsen Barn Fest goes virtual this weekend. Shoppers can peruse over 60 vendors from Friday, Sept. 25 – Monday, Sept. 28.
Normally the event brings in thousands of revelers while hundreds of vendors sell their wares.
This year more than 60 vendors are participating in the online version.
Caroline Williams is a member of the Remsen Barn Festival of the Arts Committee. She tells us it became evident it would not be possible to social distance with so many people attending. “So we are giving crafters an opportunity to come and sell their products online,” Williams said.
Vendors already accepted for the 2020 event had the choice to participate in the virtual event for free and to have their fees moved to the 2021 event.
Some chose to participate. Some weren’t able to make the change.
One first-time vendor at the barn fest, was excited to debut her business and bring barn quilts to the festival. As with much of what’s happened in 2020, she had to adapt.
Sara Meays, who owns Little Red Farmette in Holland Patent says business has been steady with a lot of vacationers from several states stopping by on their way by her studio and purchasing art. She was excited to be accepted to the Barn Fest and have the chance to connect with more customers this year, but is just as excited to show off her work at the Virtual Barn Fest.
“I was always really familiar with the barn fest being the cream of the crop when it comes to craft fairs, so I decided last winter to maybe give it a try and see what happened,” Meays said. “I was accepted in, then everything happened with the pandemic.”
Williams says it is important to give the crafters and vendors a platform. Some already have websites and an online presence on sites like Etsy. This is a push to help those who don’t get a virtual presence.
“A lot of craft fairs were canceled this year and they haven’t had a lot of opportunities to sell their products so this gives them a chance to do that.”
Meays said, “For crafters it shows their willingness to try new things and different avenues so they can be successful, and for the community it gives them their opportunity to show their support for local crafters.”
Tens of thousands who normally buzz along walking up and down Main Street in Remsen, can now click through Main Street in Remsen all weekend long.
Organizers took great care trying to keep the nonprofit’s event as close to the original as possible. The website is color coded for vendors, food and entertainment. The vendors are listed in alphabetical order. They kept the “regulars” at the barn fest in their same location. You can even click on the landmarks and you’ll be taken to their website to maybe learn some Remsen history.
There will be food trucks Saturday starting at 11 a.m.
There will also be a chowder take-out at the Brockett Creative building in Remsen starting 11a.m. Saturday morning.
Organizers are hoping to get back to a live and in-person event in 2021.
To visit the virtual festival, click here.