Street Fairs for profit, fun and madness

I have just finished writing the book and it is available for sale at $14.95.  This describes our experiences selling at street fairs, A&C shows, festivals, county fairs and much more.  No sugar-coating.  I tell it like it is.  Tornados, strong winds, torrential downpours, flooding, canopies flying away.  It's all there.  Click on this link for more information.

2011 UPDATE:  Feb 18-21. PREPARE FOR A WET WEEKEND!!  Pay attention to the weather forecasts.  Supposed to get some rain and maybe snow.    Temps could be in the 20's during the early AM.  Parade is Saturday.  Good luck. Click here to see webcam near the Kern River.

All you van sleepers out there had better bring some heavy blankets.  If you are bringing an electric blanket, there are outlets on the business side of the park.  I hope that they have improved security there OR have honest, LOYAL, trustworthy, courteous personnel (more than one) watching the booths.  IF YOU ARE A VENDOR, please question their security. Maybe you should bring a sleeping bag, shovel, blankets, twinkies, extra shoes, socks and a large cup with you and spend the night in your booth with a shotgun. That's what will thwart thievery.  Unfortunately, I shall not be there this year but please read what I have to say.  My review for 2008 is below.  Have fun.  Be sure to check out our forum where you can read about shows, festivals, etc.

Whiskey Flats Days - 2010

If you have info on the break-ins. call channel 23 news: 
661) 637-2320.  

Many booths were broken into Saturday AM.  Vendors lost thousands of dollars in merchandise.  Bakersfield TV is reporting that 10-12 booths were broken into and $2,000 worth of merchandise taken and it was a bunch of kids that did it.  I heard otherwise.  21 booths broken into and possibly over $10,000 was taken and it was not done by kids.  Who is telling the truth?  Can anybody give me more details on this?  send comments to  comments@starvingvendors.com  or visit our forum and tell your side of the story:  http://davejs.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=socalshows&thread=369&page=1
Here is what channel 23 news has to say:

Whiskey Flat Days Marred by Vendor Thefts

Nearly A Dozen Vendors Stolen From Over Weekend


It is one of the most popular events to attend in the Kern County mountains, But this weekend's Whiskey Flat Days events has been marred, a bit, by theft.    TO READ THE ARTICLE, CLICK HERE  

MY COMMENTS:  Everybody is (supposedly) unsure as to who stole the merchandise and I hope that they catch the goonies.  There is a story going around that they arrested three security guards but now I am hearing they had NO SECURITY GUARDS.  What's going on?  Somebody mentioned that they had sherrif's cars positioned at the ends of the event and that would be inadequate.  If this be the case, then the promoter's of the event need to be tarred and feathered.  Twenty-one booths broken into.  HELLOOOOOO.  The vendor's that participate in this once wonderful event deserve more than that and despite many lf them being desperate for shows this time of year, need to BOYCOTT next year's event if they are not promised that there will be much-improved security measures undertaken.  Where were the sherrif''s that supposedly were positioned there.  What the hell, do we have donut shops on every dam corner in Kernville?  I did not do the show this year, so I wasn't stolen from.

2011 UPDATE:   There are several sure things in life; death, taxes and at least a day or two of bad weather at the Whiskey Flats Festival.  Great festival though.  I hope people are buying.  Tough economy.  Not many choices in CA during February.  Can be a bit expensive (booth fees, motel, gas, etc.).  Crowd consists of many bikers and tends to be on the gruff side.  Beautiful area

IMPORTANT:  Be sure to check out our vendor forum and hear what other's have to say about their shows, etc.


I have comments for the 2009 event, which I did not do. The review for the 2008 show is further down on this page.  You can take a look for yourself and bookmark the page. The is a very nice event for both visitors and vendor's and I am sure that you will enjoy it.  There certainly is a lot of life to this event but the weather can be a challenge.  It did snow in 2009 and we have had rain in the past year's.  You can not find a better event during the month of February in California.  The dates for the show are February 12-15, 2010.


February 15-18, 2008

Kernville, CA

This Years' dates:  February 13-15.  See review of the 2008 event below.  

JUST IN FROM KERNVILLE.  Several inches of snow downtown.  Bakersfield TV Station said they had between 3-6 inches.  Weather should be better there tomorrow.  Snowfall will end around 9:00AM and it might be 'clear' sailing for Sat/Sun.  Weather for parade looks good. However there is a WINTER STORM WATCH until Monday evening. More rain there Sunday evening after 5:00PM. Bakersfield TV Station has said that they had between 3-6 inches of snow today. I guess that not too much actually stuck to the ground.  Snow, rain and T-Storms tonight.


There may still be spaces left for this event and you can contact the promoters of the event.  Matter of fact, I suspect that there will be a number of no-shows for this one, snce rain is forecast for several days.

Also,  If you are looking for a space at this event: 

Event held in Kernville, about 50 miles northeast of Bakersfield. Take Highway 178 toward Lake Isabella. After about 40 miles, take Exit 43 toward Lake Isabella/Kernville and connect with Highway 155 west, which will take you along the western shore of Isabella Lake, past Wofford Heights to downtown Kernville.

HISTORY.    Kernville has held Whiskey Flat Days every year since the late 1950s. The celebration was started by the Kernville Business Association as a way to bring in vistors during the off-season, and has flourished ever since. Then-local real estate salesperson Lloree Knowles came up with the idea and was the first chairman of the Whiskey Flat Days committee. (See the Longtimers story about Knowles in this issue of the Kern Valley Sun. Knowles started the predecessor of the Sun, the Kern Valley News, in 1958. She has lived out of the valley for a while, but she is now again living in Kernville.) The late valley historian and well-known author Ardis Manly Walker came up with the name Whiskey Flat Days to celebrate the original name of Kernville, Whiskey Flat.

MY REVIEW of 2008 Event          Feb 15-18, 2009     

Held in Kernville, CA. Feb 15-18. The 53rd annual Whiskey Flat Days event was considered by many to be a smashing success, thanks to the uncommonly good weather, and to the estimated 60,000 to 70,000 people who turned out this year. The weekend-long event took place from Feb. 15-18 and featured re-enactments of old-time shootouts and gunfights, as well as people in costumes, live music from local bands, a carnival, rodeos on Saturday and Sunday, and a parade Saturday morning.

Whisky Flat, now known as Kernville, was the original name given to the miners' camp in the mid 1800s during the California gold rush. The Whiskey Flat event is put on every year in honor of the town's tradition but was originally started to bring in extra revenue to the town after the winter months.

Kernville was littered with booths selling everything from arts and crafts, jewelry, food and other specialty items. If the goal of Whiskey Flat was to raise money then it could easily be considered a success. Whisky Flat has had a reputation over the past years for falling on a weekend of unfortunate weather, but this year's participants were lucky enough to see clear skies and experience nothing more than a cool breeze.

This was the third time that we had done the event. Nothing much else in California to do

I guess that getting to the town of Kernville  is half the fun?  After taking Highway 5 to Buttonwillow, we gassed up and followed  58 to Bakersfield.  We then took 178 toward lake Isabella and kernville.   This was a long, winding road and a bit difficult with larger vehicles...trucks, vans towing trailers, motor homes, etc.  You really have to be careful driving around the curves.  However, it is a very scenic drive as you wind your way along the Kern River.


We arrived in Kernville around 4:00PM and then drove around town.  We had made reservations at Frandy Campground, so we drove over there, checked in and pulled up to our space.  It's rather expensive to stay here.  You have no hookups and it costs $100 for the four days.  Not a good deal, but what else are you going to do.  The first year we did the show, the sidestreets were packed with cars and other motorhomes, so I often worried that we would have difficulties finding a place to park.  I really wouldn't mind parking on the street for the duration, but when you are planning to do the festival, you really aren't sure about that.  I like to be safe than sorry.  However, during this (2008) year's event, there were a lot of open spots in the streets.  There was another parking lot that charged $50 for parking there for two days and that is my alternate choice.  Besides, it's a rather distant walk from where our motor home was parked at in Frandy's....having to climb a bunch of stairs along the way...and then down the street to where our booth is located.


 Setting up can be difficult because they only allow certain areas to set up the day before...in the grassy area is one place.  We had to set up the morning of the day the show starts and it can be difficult getting in there with a motor home then and again after the show.

Friday morning it was very cold.  Temperatures may down into the 20’s.  We pulled over to our space where our booth was to be located around 6:30….PERHAPS 45 minutes or so after it became light.  There was a noticeable difference this year, as there  were hardly anybody else there setting up yet. Ideal situation…drive in, unload and park it.  Everything came out…buckets, bag, sacks, canopy, grids, etc.  The whole shebang was dumped onto the sidewalk and after parking our motor home, we took our time setting up.  Las year they started the show at 10;00 Am on Friday, but this year  they changed it to noontime and that could have had a negative impact.  Sales were lower this year…fewer hours on Friday but the economy is bad right now and people are not spending much 

On Saturday, they had a nice parade…….started at 11:00 and lasted until around 12:15.  Many people were decked out in their 1890s attire and it was quite enjoyable.  There was a large crowd there watching.


Saturday’s sales  ended up down considerably.  Not much buying.  Such a good show.  AQ lot of vendors told me that their sales were really down.  Loads of people, but just taking a stroll.  Kettle Korn made a killing as they had lines of 15-25 people just about all day long.  Looks like they did the best.


As I sat toward the back of our booth a 10-year old boy stepped over and lifted up one of our $20.00 Harley Blankets and held it up over his head to show me.  'Is this two bucks?' he asked ne.  'No', I said…..that's twenty dollars.  He quickly put it back down.  Next he stepped over to our $2 spider monkeys.  'Are these two dollars', he asked me.  No, I responded bluntly 'twenty dollars'  The kid then gave me a very confused look.  I then told him that it was only two dollars.


There were booths all over the place….we were located on Front St, which had 3 areas of booths.  We were located in the area near the bridge.  As I looked around, I noticed that there were three booths that received very little sun and ours was one of them, unfortunately.  So, we had to bundle up most of the day while the sun shined brightly on the booths across the aisle

It was nice to see a lot of familiar faces there.  Lots of vendors we knew and for many people, this was their first event of the year.