ASHLAND -- Ashland’s Main Street was hustling and bustling as the Downtown A-Fair took place Saturday afternoon.
In an effort to replace some of the festivities that were wiped out when the county fair canceled, the Downtown A-Fair aimed to bring the Ashland community down to explore various vendors, decorate pumpkins and most importantly support the small businesses in the area.
“The idea was to do something that was a substitute for costume capers and to invite our friends who would normally be at the fair who could be here and have as many downtown events going on as possible,” said Ashland Main Street Executive Director Sandra Tunnell.
Due to the fair and other events being canceled due by the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the vendors took this opportunity to promote their businesses and bring more attention to each of their unique products.
Linda Bolin, owner of Chloe’s Golden Creations, had various handmade scarves, dog bandanas, microwave bowl cozies and more. Her business has suffered due to the pandemic as it canceled many of the vendor shows she typically attends.
“It’s affected it a lot,” she said. “I’ve had about five craft shows canceled this year where I would usually make between $200 to $300 -- so that’s a hit.”
While Bolin’s business has suffered, Home Town Bakery owner Britney Carman said her business has only increased since the start of the pandemic.
“The pandemic has actually helped us,” she said. “We are 10 times as busy as we were before. People are happier buying homemade since it's more personal than going to stores and buying stuff that’s made in factories.”
Home Town Bakery is in the process of opening a new storefront on Claremont Avenue directly next to Goldberry Roasting Company. The hope is to have that spot open in the next few months.
Putting an emphasis on homemade goods, Carman takes pride in the products that are “made to order, it’s fresh, we make our stuff almost daily.”
Tunnell, who is responsible for organizing many of Main Street’s events, takes great joy in seeing the Ashland community coming out and enjoying everything this event had to offer.
“This is a good opportunity for people to come downtown and check out what we have,” she said. “It’s fun to have people stop and say they’ve never seen downtown this busy, so that is really gratifying."