Art Festival Etiquette: Three Simple Rules

We know, the holiday art festival season has arrived in all of its hand turkey, glitter bomb, public crafting table madness (just don't start with the music), which means it's time to brush up on a little "spirited" etiquette.

We sat down with a local art festival and crafting table guru, who would like to remain anonymous so that she doesn't get in a marker fight when she does her next festival.

Don't let your kids (or yourself) wind up like this at an art festival.
Don't let your kids (or yourself) wind up like this at an art festival.

In her words: I'm a crafty girl in the city. I spend many hours making arts and crafts to sell, as well as coming up with ideas to share with others. I vend at a all kinds of local events, and I also host a lot of kids craft tables too. I'm a pimper of all things handmade!

Now that the art festival season is upon us, I feel it is my duty, on behalf of artsy demonstrators across the land to share some polite requests when it comes to kids (and adults for that matter) when visiting arts festivals and craft tables.

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I'm all for crafting fun: Let the glitter fly, the glue bottle travel, and the masterpieces emerge. However, there is a not so shiny side to arts festivals and operating the free, make-and-take craft tables.

So for the crafty volunteers' (myself included) sake and yours, please consider the following universal codes of politeness ...

1. Exercise the art of niceness.
I am blown away at how many parents don't encourage their little ones to say 'Please', 'Thank you,' or...'May I use the green glitter after you?' Life skills, people!

Just because my craft is free, does not mean it's ok to go all Lord of the Flies on me and others nearby. We're all in this together, let's keep it fun and bubbly. And please don't scold or snap at me if the green glitter runs out.

2. Please don't ask me to take care of your offspring, drink cups, trash, shopping bags or strollers. My little freebie art center is not a child care drop-off.

I don't mind mind older kids hanging out, but I've had kids left at my station so their parents can escape.

3. If your child has head lice, pretty please - don't send them to my facepaint or craft booth.There is no worse feeling than finishing a detailed butterfly on a little girl's cheek, leaning in close for the last detail - only to look up and see buggies crawling on her scalp and an infestation of gnats on hair strands.

I've encountered sneezes and coughs in my face, I've even been accidentally smacked in the face by a kid throwing a screaming tantrum. Not fun, but it goes with the territory -- kids are kids. Sneezes happen. I can handle that. But lice? Hell-to-the-glittery-NO!

In fact, it might be a good idea not to bring your child to any festival, until you have that little matter under control.

Have any craft festival hints/pet peeves? Leave 'em in the comments section!

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