Art City Days kicked off with an unprecedented crowd at the June 1 rodeo. “I don’t know if we could’ve fit another person in there,” said Corey Merideth, recreation director and festival troubleshooter.
Merideth estimated there were 2,500 people in the audience and attributed the success to new pricing, networking through new sponsors and a specialty act, “The Wild Child.”
This year’s Art City Days certainly celebrated what most think of as the arts with a senior art show, a children’s arts festival and a resident artist highlight at the parade; but no one was left behind in this city’s celebration with its range of activities.
Festivities also included a free outdoor movie, family pop concert and the rodeo. In addition to visual arts and performances, there was a basketball competition, regatta, carnival rides, hot air balloon rides, a market of independent vendors and food vendors.
New networking and participants at the event reflect Springville’s recent growth and influx of residents and visitors, but longtime residents still benefited from the inside scoop on Art City Day traditions. They knew the Kiwanis scones are worth the wait and were able to spot Corey Meredith at the festival, which results in a prize.
New food vendors included Capitol Burgers and Kia Gra Kiwi, a New Zealand food truck that had sold out of its meat pies, fish and chips and pavlova by 9 p.m. Wednesday. New market vendors included Whipsy Stitch, featuring felt applique, and Davey Jane’s Locker, a Comic-Con vendor featuring false firearms and mermaid paraphernalia.
Krista and TJ Schmitz, proprietors of Davey Jane’s Locker, have found their eclectic fare appealing to teenagers and the young-at-heart. Their booth included prop guns made by TJ Schmitz with a 3D printer, and mermaid paraphernalia and hand-stitched jean jackets featuring references to David Bowie and Princess Leah made by Krista Schmitz.
TJ Schmitz also makes unicorn head trophies with the printer, and Krista Schmitz makes Ita bags with fun cloth inserts under plastic so kids can put pins on their backpacks without worrying that they’ll lose their accessories.
The couple is originally from the Salt Lake area, but after a stint in Ohio they moved to Springville about a decade ago. Krista Schmitz said she’d done several craft fairs before paying for her son’s mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints motivated her to take her business to the next level.
“My oldest son said, ‘Why don’t we try comic-con … and we sold everything on our table in three hours,” she said. “We found our tribe.”
In addition to doing that market every year, where she said booths cost about $1500 but enable her to sell to 50 people in an hour, she has an Etsy site and her own Three Penny Market website, named after her first booth where she sold plush vegetables.
Her comic-con wares have more of a British steampunk theme, but she said that market comes and goes and mermaids’ rising popularity inspired her to rebrand with a nautical theme this year in time for the Springville Art Days booth, a venture that appealed to her as an affordable, local way to encourage her son and his friend who wanted to join in the vendor industry (he and his friend sold vintage clothes in the next tent over).