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Hello and welcome to a new season, friends! As Spring commences, it is accompanied by a host of awesome festivities and events around the globe. Last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the 58th Annual, Winter Park Sidewalk, Art Festival. There were artists and patrons there, from all around the world. The type of art on site ranged from sculptures to hand blown glass, and everything in between. I admired images by some of the world’s most cherished photographers, to highly sought out contemporary images. Viewing the incredible skill of some of the sculptures was one of the highlights of my visit. I also came away with a few tips, to help make your festival season a huge success. So here goes…

  1. Ensure You are Camera Ready

Thankfully, I took my beloved Canon along for the ride. I was able to get some good shots, but because of all the people, wasn’t able to zoom-in to get as close-up as I wanted, on a few of my shots. Here’s where my Iphone would’ve come in handy, except for the fact that four shots in, I ran out of space- #memoryfull.  I wanted to scream!! I stepped over to the side and tried deleting some old photos as quickly as I could, but between the baking sun and all the people bumping into me, it was tough to accomplish. Lesson learned. Have all camera/video equipment ready! You would think with all the traveling that I’ve done that I would know this. #photographerfail, but I’ll be ready for the next event- promise!

2. Prepare a Booth List Ahead of Time

I was clearly not prepared for this event. I heard about it literally two days before going, so I didn’t have much time to plan. If possible, visit the website prior to attending, to get a lay of the land, and to find out exactly which booths you want to stop by. Of course other vendors will catch your attention along the stroll, but at least you will have a guide, for a more efficient use of time. Depending upon the size of the event, these types of festivals can draw hundreds of thousands of people, so trying to read a map in the hot sun, with a million people and their kids and pets around, does not make for a pleasant experience. #doyourhomeworknexttimelady I’m already prepping for the next affair!

3. Don’t Go on an Empty Stomach

Uhm…despite having a somewhat strict diet (I’ve been a little lax lately,) I really do like to eat… ALOT. I’m often caught munching on something throughout the day, so it’s important that I plan, and plan wisely before heading out to these type of festivities. I knew there’d be food on hand, and assumed I could find some nice vegetarian option within budget… so I didn’t eat at all beforehand. Big MISTAKE! I should’ve at least had a bowl of my favorite granola cereal in hemp milk that morning (which by the way, I’m eating right now, even though I just ate lunch at noon.) This unfortunate mishap, led to my getting off of the train dehydrated, parched and starving, causing me to bum rush the first smoothie stand I saw. The result- an $8, turned $9 smoothie, filled with ice. Are you kidding me, Candace?? I was walking around thankful that I was drinking, but oh so perturbed at the same time.Yep, she charged me an extra $1 for the use of my debit card. No Bueno. Needless to say, after a few hours I was hungry again, and discovered a ton of restaurants sprawled throughout the area, with much more moderate prices, including a smoothie shop around the corner, with real $5 smoothies #headhungandwalletupset. I ended up devouring a delicious veggie burger at one my favorite spots (they have one near where I live,) but I still cannot believe I forgot my bottle of water at home. The moral to this story, eat before going, review the area on line to see what’s in the vicinity and in your daily budget, or prepare to spend.

4. Pack Your Sunnies and Sun Gear

Once again, I shamefully say, I dashed out of the house without even a single pair of sun glasses in my bag. A total rookie move again, but I made it. Additionally, be sure to wear a hat or visor, to keep your head cool, against the beating sun. For the record, I have to state that I have an extensive sunnie and hat collection, so what on earth was I thinking?? It was a super hot afternoon, the sun was blazing and my eyes were drying out from the glare…and yes, I forgot the sunblock, too. Don’t judge me, but #thesungotthebestofme.

5.Have a Great Time

Despite all the faux pas, I still had a really good time. It may not sound like it, but all the incredible artwork made up for it! I was even able to pick up a couple of items, despite going over budget on that smoothie. Though it cut into my festival money, I was able to snag some bargains, to make up for that rookie mistake. I can’t help it- I’m budget conscious these days!! Also, keep in mind that these types of festivals typically have vendors with various types of goods for sale. Not only was there artwork everywhere, but there were also quite a few skilled artisans onsite with goods, too. The list included jewelry, hand bags, beauty items, hair clips and bands, and even clothes and shoes. I eventually found my way over to the local spice and tea shop, so I closed out my day super happy!! 

All in all, my time at the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival was good. A little shaky starting out, but I still caught the train back home feeling accomplished and with a smile on my face. I’m sure it helped that I was back in the air conditioning, sitting down, drinking water and still within budget. #knowhowtoadjust-forthewin

Until next time, enjoy all the spring festivities that you can- and remember to balance the good, with the challenges! Safe travels and…well..adapt when you have too!


Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival 2017

Candacetravels