Friday, July 26th, 2013
By Shelley Grieshop
Vendors, store owners skeptical of new festival site
  CELINA - The sights and smells of vendors that previously filled the downtown area during the annual Celina Lake Festival were replaced with normal traffic along Main Street this morning.
For the first time in festival history, all vendors were moved to Lake Shore Park near Grand Lake where nearly all activities will take place this weekend.
"I kind of like the trees and the shade but that might change once the sun pops out," said Bailey Worthington of Waynesfield, who was setting out colorful sand and candy art along the winding sidewalk at the park.
Worthington and his wife, Maxine, sold their goods downtown for 16 years before moving lakeside this year with everyone else.
"We used to have good luck (downtown) but once they started having vendors down here, it made it difficult for us," he said. "Last year we didn't even break even."
Dylan Correll, a member of the Lake Festival steering committee, said the number of vendors was "way down" in the closed-off area of downtown last year. About 30 more spaces were created along the lake this year to accommodate the former downtown vendors, he said.
About 70 crafters and 25 food vendors will greet festival patrons this year - about the same as last year, Correll said. He admitted to some initial "growing pains" this morning trying to please everyone.
"But I think everybody's OK now," he said. "I think this is going to be a positive move."
Kiki Leggett of Somerset told the newspaper she thinks relocating her "Funky Fidoras" stand to the lake could be more profitable.
"Water attracts people," she said, adding she was a downtown vendor the last three years. "I think we'll enjoy being by the lake where all the activities are."
Although no vendors straddled Main Street or side streets this morning, the area certainly wasn't a ghost town. Shoppers cruised the sidewalks, checking out items under outdoor tents and inside stores.
Kim Nation, owner of The Potter House on Main Street and Java Nation, said she isn't happy about the change but is taking a "positive outlook for now."
"After the sales are over we'll see if it's a positive or a negative," she said.
Nation said this weekend is crucial to downtown merchants who need the strong sales to help them through slower times during the year. She doesn't think the change is in the best interest of local businesses.
"We should be promoting and helping our town, not just focusing on an event," she said.
Additional online stories for this date
Print edition only stories for this date
• County director of nursing hired
• St. Henry Council passes ordinance to regulate big rigs
• Area nun wraps up 55-year career
• Immaculate Conception teacher marks 50 years, bids adieu
• Former players recall Celina's ACME state championship in 1988
• Stewart hopeful NASCAR's trucks will return to Eldora
a_d
Friday Night
50°
Mostly Cloudy
13%
Saturday
67°
Partly Sunny
14%
Saturday Night
43°
Mostly Clear
Sunday
63°
Mostly Sunny
Sunday Night
48°
Mostly Clear
6%
Monday
76°
Partly Sunny
14%
Monday Night
61°
Partly Cloudy
13%
Tuesday
72°
Mostly Cloudy
69%
Tuesday Night
44°
Rain Showers
75%
Wednesday
56°
Mostly Cloudy
10%
Wednesday Night
39°
Partly Cloudy
6%
3 Day
Extended
a_da_d
camera_logo Photo Albums
Thursday, October 23
index pict
Thursday, October 23
index pict
video_logoOnline Video
Thursday, October 2
index pict
Accident at 127 and 119
Monday, September 29
index pict
Grand Lake Marathon