| Jul 31, 2019

The first thing regular visitors to the Friends of Bon Echo Art Show and Sale probably noticed is that it’s in a new place. Instead of the gathering area where the show has been since Carla Miedema and a few others started it in 1996, this year it was moved to South Beach.

“There were a couple of reasons for the move, mostly logistics,” said FOBE President (and self-titled “chief cook and bottlewasher, jack of all trades, master of none”) Peter Alger. “With the boat tours, store and visitor centre, the old location was getting a little congested.

“So, in conjunction with Park staff, we thought we’d try it down here.

“Besides, there’s a nice breeze here coming off the lake.”

“Yes, the breeze is nice,” said FOBE executive director Chris Callan. “But we have a lot more room here, we have more parking and it’s close to real facilities.

“Also, it’s much more level ground and it gives us room for some kids activities like painting tree cookies.

“At 23 exhibitors, we’re down a little bit from previous years but I’m quite surprised at the turnout for a Friday,” said Alger. “Everybody seems happy and we hope this will be here for many years to come.

“And that looks good because we’re getting a lot more younger people volunteering.”

And the exhibitors seemed fine with the change, or at the very least were taking it in stride.

“I think I prefer the old location, there were more trees there for shade,” said long-time exhibitor Lisa Johnson. “But, there is a great view and every once in a while, there’s a nice breeze.

“But, I’ve made a few sales, so . . .”

“It’s pretty hot here and it’s a little out of the way but it’s the last day for the swim program so we’ve had lots of adults around with their kids,” said Miedema. “And, there’s a lot more room here.”

“I think it’s great,” said Debbie Reeve, who’s in her fourth year exhibiting at the show. “Sometimes, it’s kinda hard to teach old dogs new tricks.

“But here there’s lots of room, parking, a great view and a nice breeze.”

Toronto artist David Vasquez is returning to the show after a five or six year absence, so he barely remembers the old site.

“It’s a very nice place, I like it here,” he said. “I think it will be a great show, there’s lots of people looking.”

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