Delta Fair MSWG Demonstration

By Bob Wolfe

The Midsouth Woodturners Guild was asked to demonstrate at the DELTA FAIR & MUSIC FESTIVAL scheduled for September 3rd – 12th , 2021 at the Agricenter – Memphis, TN. The club accepted the invitation to demonstrate and chose Saturday September 4th. We were to demonstrate in the West Pavilion at the Agricenter. We were expecting to have 8-10 members participate at this event. During the six weeks from when we accepted the invitation, the COVID Delta Variant virus began to impact the country and especially the Mid-South area. Several potential demonstrators chose not to attend.

We had five members who set up and demonstrated turning that Saturday. Rick Stone, Sam Dawson, Skip Wilbur, Jeff Brann, and myself set up and prepared to turn. The Delta Fair set-up only took 40 minutes to stage our lathes and put out product. They provided us with three eight foot tables that had already been covered with white paper and taped down. Power outlets were abundant and plenty of room to store our wood, tools and other supplies. The Delta Fair provided lunch for us as well.

The attendance at the fair was light, but we had a steady stream of visitors during the six hours we demonstrated. Rick Stone and his wife Polly turned and assembled several tops for the children that came through, Sam turned some pens, Skip turned Christmas ornaments, Jeff and I both made our share of woodturning shavings.

Several of the viewers seemed to be interested in the club and we handed our club cards and had the QR-CODE posted on the tables for viewers to get to our website.

We were able to bring some of our turnings to sell. Although the attendance was down, the collective group sold about $450 in merchandise. The experience was good and it pointed out the need to set up more turning events in the future where we can meet, at a members garage or shop turn, exchange ideas, wood, laugh and just socialize. Hopefully the COVID demons will settle down and we can meet later this month at the Pink Palace Craft Show.

A few learnings from this event - we need to have improved lighting for the lathes. Ambient lighting at the Pavilion was adequate to traverse the building safely, but turning requires more light. At the Pink Palace Show, the lighting has always been marginal. We also need to set up a sharpening station if room permits.

These are signs we posted on the corner of the tables

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