Saturday was a perfect day at Oktoberfest in West Acton! We started setting up our sewing display bright and early at 8am and closed it down at 4pm. Since this was our first year as participants everything was new!
Most of it was wonderful, but the paper towels and duct tape came in handy early. I’m glad I threw those in the supply bucket (shades of our old canoeing days?) . After Emily and Rachel, two very helpful ABRHS volunteers carried our table and chairs over to our spot for us, we used the paper towels to wipe off our table that had gotten just a little wet and dirty from sitting on it’s side since dawn waiting for us. Then we started to set up and it seemed like EVERYTHING required duct tape to help it survive the breeze!
With my intern Darlene helping me, the two of us had the display set up in a jiffy. Then we got to sit and watch the rest of the displays go up. Some of it was fairly mundane as people drove up and unloaded their displays and some of it was quite dramatic.
My favorite moment (in retrospect of course!) was when I got a phone call from a dear relative up in Bingham, ME telling me about the bull moose she encountered on her morning walk. Just as I started to get the delightful details on the encounter, a gust of wind came from around the corner and too many things started to happen at once.
My neighbor broke the handle on her big bag of apples and apples started rolling everywhere and into the street, one of my information sheets blew off in another direction and Darlene started running fast after that to save it while a minivan was driving into an orange cone and dragging it away! I cut my phone call short as I ran to tell the driver about the cone, helped my neighbor pick up her apples all the while making sure Darlene got back safely with our piece of paper! Below is a picture of Darlene with our display table for the sewing studio.
The rest of the day was relatively calm as the breeze wound down and the sun came up higher in the sky to warm things up. We had “front row seats” as the 5k runners ran by followed by the 5k walkers right through the center of West Acton on Massachusetts Avenue (aka Rt. 111) and continued west toward Boxborough. It was very exciting. I got a few pictures, but it all happened so fast! I certainly recognized some neighbors and friends as they sped by!
We had a great time as people stopped by to take a look at our sewing class information. Several people commented on the little mint green vintage Singer Featherweight (see picture below) that we brought along for the display. A number of kids (and grownups) took the Sewing word search puzzle home to work on.
Around mid-day, Angela another of my sewing interns, joined us to help out. It was great to have the added support. I felt totally confident leaving Darlene and Angela to staff the table while I took a little longer walk around to check things out.
People seemed to be having a great time. Grownups walking their dogs, teens “hanging out”, performers in costumes ranging from hand-sewn revolutionary garb to a girl with totally blue hair! Sunglasses with dark lenses and dayglow arms seemed to be a hot item with the teens and there was a lot of pink cotton candy and lollipops in lot of little hands! The grownups seemed more interested in sausage sandwiches and fried dough!
All in all we met so many lovely people! People were so friendly and interested in what we are doing teaching sewing classes. Several remarked that they were happy to see a renewed interest in sewing. We had many, many parents of young children stopping by.
The most frequent question parents had was “How old must a child be to take lessons? (The answer is: children need to be at least 7 yrs old in and preferably in 2nd grade for childrens’ group classes and 5 years old for parent/child lessons.) Many people were also interested in adult lessons. Either they wanted to get back to sewing or they never learned in the first place. We spent a lot of time explaining how our classes work and suggesting they check out the website to get more detailed information on the schedule of classes. Next year we’ll definitely bring printouts of our class schedules!
Check out the picture of Darlene, me and Angela below!
All in all we had a delightful time people-watching, baby-watching, dog-watching and politician watching (and handshaking of course!) as we handed out flyers and raffle tickets, telling people about our sewing studio “just down the street ” in West Acton. We got a lot of interest in our sewing classes from a wide age range and several of our sewing students and friends stopped by to say hello. What a friendly day! Beautiful weather, lovely people, sweet babies, cute kids, handsome dogs and lots and lots of great conversation. A great success.
See you next year!