By BRIAN SMITH
In its third year, Weatherford Blooms Festival is growing by leaps and bounds.
Main Street and Special Event Coordinator Kim Thieme said crowds for the free, family-oriented event, scheduled for Saturday, April 27, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., have grown from an estimated 2,500 in 2011 to about double that last year. The number of vendors has grown as well from about 40 to 70 last year.
A number of home and garden vendors will be making the trip into the downtown square for the event, including nurseries and furniture businesses, as well as community organizations, such as gardeners. General vendors are charged $50 and non-profit organizations $25. All vendor fees go back into a festival fund to promote other festivals, Thieme said.
Taking up all four quadrants of the square allows vendors the kind of space they need.
“I tell the vendors to let me know the kind of space they need for their animals or furniture or whatever they have and I’ll get it for them,” Thieme said. “Having the space allows me to be more flexible for those vendors that have more items. We always want to focus on blooms.”
Spreading vendors out, with a guaranteed nursery in every quadrant, will also allow attendees to see more of the downtown which is exactly what Thieme wants.
“We believe in supporting our downtown businesses which is why we have events like this to begin with,” Thieme said. “We want them to see our festival but also patronize those businesses as well.”
Vendor applications are being taken through April 1, depending on space and are chosen to be as unobtrusive as possible and not compete with the businesses.
“That’s one of the reasons we try not have a lot of food vendors at our events,” Thieme said. “We may have one or two per quadrant where you can get items like kettle corn and funnel cakes. Stuff on the run that the places there won’t be selling.”
The popular antique tractor show will be part of the southeast quadrant with about 15-20 displays expected, Thieme said.
Vendor spaces have already started being taken, Thieme said, with the event expected to sell out quickly. For more information on becoming a vendor, call Thieme at 817-598-4124 or 817-598-4034.