The chill of fall only enhanced Saturday’s downtown Pilot Mountain street festival as the local business A Vintage View partnered with the Pilot Mountain Unites group to serve as primary organizers for the first Pilot View Vintage Market.
“This was all about bringing people downtown,” explained Christy Craig, owner of A Vintage View. “We wanted to highlight our downtown area and its existing businesses. We made a point of leaving our storefronts open and accessible, allowing people to see what we have.”
The fledgling effort produced an unexpectedly large gathering of vendors and shoppers, surprising even its organizers. Eighty-six vendors took part in the day-long event, offering a wide assortment of antiques, vintage and repurposed items, crafts, art and other varied creations.
In addition to a strong local representation, vendors were on hand from multiple surrounding states including South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.
“It was such a successful first show,” Craig said. “Better than we had ever hoped. At first, our goal was 35 vendors but it just took off. At the last minute, people were still asking us if they could take part.”
“And our turnout was way better than we had expected. We had people from several states with some driving for six hours to get here. And they’re already making plans to come back when we do this again.”
Among the local vendors displaying their work was Sidney Hunter of Sidney Hunter Design Company. Through her business, Hunter offers calligraphy and hand lettering as well as handmade and home-made goods.
“This is exciting,” she noted during a pause between a steady stream of patrons. “I’ve been busy, with a lot of traffic from both local people and people from out of town. This is right up my alley. I love the style of the vendors and they’ve done a great job of promoting this. It shows off Pilot Mountain.”
“It’s a good fit for Pilot Mountain,” Craig agreed. “Our vendors are very pleased and some have sold out. We did have some doubts when we were planning this about whether people would get into the stores. But my store has been busy all day and it’s been a record day for me.”
The success of the day has already prompted plans for a spring show, scheduled for April 21. While vendor applications won’t officially open for about another week, Craig said that she has already made plans with 25 of Saturday’s vendors to return in the spring.
“It’s been great and we’re hoping for more,” she said. “Most of our downtown businesses have been very pleased. All the money from our vendors will be allocated toward helping to keep people coming downtown. We’ve been able to bring people into Pilot Mountain to see what we have and now we want to have them coming back to our stores.”