With scorching temperatures in the 90s, you’d think it might be an opportune time to sell an air conditioner.
Not so said Jimmy Priestley, an employee of Roscoe Brown.
“People don’t come to the fair to buy a heating and air unit,” said Jimmy. “In all my years here I’ve sold one and that was to a family in Smyrna. We keep this booth for the advertising.”
Many businesses operate with abbreviated hours or shut down completely during fair week. That means much of the business activity moves to the fairgrounds where dozens of local merchants set up shop and sell their wares.
While fair-goers may be reluctant to plop down thousands for a central heat and air unit, they were more than willing to spend a few dollars for a Gold Canyon candle.
“The large candle will burn for 150 hours so if you pick one out you better like it because you’ll be smelling it for a while,” said sales executive Shellie Browning.
With abnormally hot fair temperatures cooking fair visitors like a pizza, Gold Canyon executive Tammy Jennings said it’s no surprise the fall scents have been selling briskly. Folks can’t wait for cooler weather to arrive. She said scents like pumpkin praline and white pumpkin were close to selling out.
As for their reasons for selling Gold Canyon candles, Shellie said it is simple. “This really just supports our candle addiction,” she said.
The unofficial Trooper of the Year Award at this year’s fair goes to Sarah Blair. Nearly a full nine months pregnant, she was busy operating her booth under the grandstand called Meraki.
“It’s a boy,” said Sarah, “and he already weighs 9 pounds.”
Her official due date is Oct. 1, but Sarah says she won’t make it that long. Doctors will take the big bundle of joy by C-section on Sept. 26 if he doesn’t arrive on his own before that.
“Today has been the best day of the week,” Sarah said on Friday. “With all the kids being here, I’ve been selling a lot of the little things like unicorn change purses and small jewelry. Today has been pretty amazing.”
Danns Termite and Pest Control had a booth under the grandstand to give people a convenient way to order pest control.
“Sometimes we can get rid of the problem in just a spray or two,” said employee Johnny Solomon. “If it’s something like ants, sometimes it doesn’t take much.”
Johnny said the business specializes in getting rid of just about any type of pest, from spiders to termites. Johnny said anyone who mentions this article and says they heard about Danns from the fair will get $35 off.
Regular pest control visits can be arranged according to your schedule. That can be every month, every quarter, every six months or every year. Danns can be reached at 473-1625.
Eat more fudge
If you’re eager to indulge in fudge that has consistently won blue ribbons, look no further than the booth of Susan Bain.
“This is my grandmother’s recipe but I’ve tweaked it,” said Susan. “She turned the stirring spoon over to me at age 12.”
The booth is aptly named Sweet Suzi’s Blue Ribbon Fudge. Susan noted her chocolate fudge is this year’s blue ribbon winner. Other widely popular flavors are peanut butter, maple pecan and butter pecan. Susan makes the fudge fresh every morning.
In an interesting combination, Susan also serves as a travel agent and said European trips to France and Greece are common vacations. She can be reached for your fudge or travel needs at (931) 265-6168.
At the Tupperware booth of Mary Frances Nash, she said she was experiencing a sluggish year in terms of sales.
“I think the heat has really hurt us,” she said.
Mary Frances said she sells the genuine Tupperware product which comes with a lifetime warranty against breaking, pealing, chipping or cracking. She noted Tupperware has been around for 71 years.
“I’ve been with the company for 45 years,” she said. “I started when I was 2.”
If you didn’t get a chance to buy Tupperware at the fair, you can reach Mary Frances at (931) 738-2323.
For folks just salivating for fall to arrive, Main Street McMinnville had a booth to promote the Autumn Street Fair, which is set to hold its 25th annual event Oct. 5.
Pippi Flanders is one of the organizers.
“We have all 243 booth spaces full and we’ve created a waiting list,” said Pippi, who was quick to promote some new happenings at the Autumn Street Fair.
There will be a doggie costume contest that starts at 10 a.m. and a cornhole tournament that starts at noon. The cornhole tournament will feature a $200 prize.
Get ready for autumn fun, if this heat wave ever breaks.