Well, the unthinkable happened, and I had to cancel the Marketplace for today, June 20th. It was a heart breaking decision, one that had to be made early on the information available. I awoke at 5:00 am, almost afraid to check the weather. We had lost 6 vendors in the past week, 3 in the last 24 hours. While we still had a great group of outstanding vendors ready to brave the elements, I had to make an early decision. Several people were driving long distances, and needed to leave home by 7:30 am. At that time, we were getting heavy downpours in Marietta, and my hired crew of tent setter-uppers were sitting in their cars. The radar was showing several periods of severe weather, including lightning and heavy downpours, starting at 11:00 am. Now I’m sitting at my computer, and the forecast has been changed for the hundredth time, with the severe storms starting later today. But hindsight is 20/20, and at 7:30 this morning I had to choose.
I had 2 choices— 1) Carry on, set up in the rain, and hope that the customers would come. Many vendors have sensitive products–paper goods, glass, original paintings, clocks, etc. Not only would the inventory be at risk, but in the case of lightning even our safety. Should a sudden thunderstorm blow in, we would have a hard time breaking down safely and without damage. In addition, people using the forecast to guide their decision to visit the Marketplace would see a forecast that has been changing by the 1/2 hour. Not too many are willing to shop at an outdoor market in bad weather.
2) Cancel, and risk losing credibility and disappointing many people. I decided that it would be better to shoulder the responsibility, take the fall and save the vendors from an unpleasant experience. Although some were excitedly preparing for their first event and were understandably disappointed, others were relieved that they wouldn’t have to risk inventory and drive long distances to set up in the rain.
I apologize if you are a vendor who hoped to have a profitable day and were excited to show your products to a new audience. I apologize if you are a potential visitor who was looking forward to a unique experience and cool items. This is the most difficult part of the business, trying to read the crystal ball, make assumptions, and make decisions that impact others.
Thank you for your understanding and support—we will be back in July, bigger and better! Stay tuned!