1. Plan on attending for more than one day. There is simply too much to see and learn about. If you only go for one day, you’ll always be wondering about what you might have missed.
2. Read the program. Each morning, take the fair program out and circle the workshops that you are interested in attending. Also, check out the map to find out where those workshops will be located. Good preparation can increase your chances of getting a seat.
3. Bring a water bottle. You’ll be thirsty and although there are boxes to place garbage that can be recycled, be proactive (and environmentally savvy) by bringing your own water bottle that you can refill.
4. Bring a tote bag or backpack. If you have your own bag, you don’t need to take one from each vendor.
5. Bring money. It will only be the very strongest who won’t come home with soaps, fermented foods, and wooden spoons. You certainly don’t have to spend money but this is one place where your money is well spent.
6. The FAIR will be indoors as well as outdoors, bring sunglasses. If you burn, also consider a hat and some sunscreen.
7. Wear comfortable shoes. I wore a fit bit on Saturday and logged over 14K steps (a very good day is when I hit 10K) wear good sturdy shoes with socks, your feet will thank you at the end of the day.
8. Ask questions. You’ll get answers about everything, but you won’t if you don’t ask, so go ahead, people want to tell you about what they have.
9. Give things a try. Go ahead and try the brown soap in the rest rooms, the whiskey hickory syrup, the fermented food. Here is your chance to try things out and discover new products, take advantage of it.
10. Pace yourself. It’s going to be a long weekend, pace yourself to make sure you get to see it all. There’s nothing wrong with sitting down for a break to have some food or a cup of coffee, it will all still be there after you’ve gotten a break.
11. If you buy something big like a broom or shovel, ask the vendor to hold it for you until you are ready to leave. No need to carry anything bulky or awkward, vendors will be glad to set aside your purchase.
12. Say “hi” to the person next to you. This is your tribe, everyone belongs.
13. Take photos. Do you want to look something up before you buy it? Take a photo so you’ll remember the details. Also take plenty of photos to share with your friends when you get home, they’ll want to know what all the fuss was about.
14. Consider staying in the hotel associated with the FAIR. Sure it might be more expensive than the one located 20 minutes away, but sometimes, convenience can be priceless.
15. Consider packing a bottle of wine to enjoy in the hotel at night. 'Nuff said about that one.
16. Breathe. There’s something about being around like-minded people that makes you feel like you’re at home. Relax, you’ve got a few days here where others won’t think you’re strange for composting with worms.
Get the details about all of our upcoming MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIRS and make a plan to attend one next year!