What’s this I hear Spring Market is Moving?
Yep, it’s happening. Cue the questions! Here’s a little more about our decision to move and why it’s setting us up for the best spring market ever.
Well, truth be told, we’ve been thinking about a new location for a while.
The fair has been such a phenomenal success year after year because of our amazing vendors. Unfortunately with our limited space, we have to turn away many great vendors every year.
The other critical element is parking. We have been operating for the last 18 years using approximately 20 acres of fields for parking, ten of which were generously provided by our neighbor across the street. That land has since been sold to the county for a new firehouse, so we will be losing more than half of our parking…uh-oh.
Why not ask another neighbor you say?
Great Idea! After asking every neighboring farmer in a four mile radius, we realized duh! These people are farmers that are actually farming their land and the month of May is primetime for hay and other crops. Asking them if we could park 5,000 cars on top of those crops is just straight up silly.
So while it seems like there would be loads of alternatives for parking, there just isn’t.
Why not use a shuttle?
We thought the same thing, however, finding parking further away did not change the fact that we would need around 20 acres of available space that wouldn’t become equally mucky in the event of inclement weather. And how does that work when customers buy furniture? This solution quickly became a different version of the same problem.
Ok, enough dogging on Mother Nature, she’s doing her best. The insurmountable issue is the loss of half of our parking, rain or shine, that’s a big one. So we have two options left, move the fair or swallow our pride, and end it. I couldn’t even toy with the idea of ending it. The Spring Market is just too good. It just doesn’t make sense to give up now. So, I did the only thing I could do and loaded my 93-year-old dad into the car the Monday right after this past years muddy Sunday and started looking for new digs.
What’s wrong with Loudoun County?
Another great question!
The answer is nothing. As I mentioned before we started considering the possibility of relocating a few years ago and looked extensively at Loudoun County’s options.
If we were going to consider moving, the very first criteria was character. We are the Lucketts Store for crying out loud and we won’t settle for any old generic package. We needed it to be charming and cool. We needed it to be us. Also, let’s not forget why we’re moving in the first place, we needed a minimum of 18-20 acres to park cars. Next, since we truly wanted this move to improve the quality of the event, we need some areas to be under a roof, that way, if the weather wasn’t so…dry, it wouldn’t put a damper on the entire event.
We looked at Loudoun County Fairgrounds and we loved it. It was perfect in every way and we knew we could host a killer fair there. It was about this time we learned that the fields they use for parking are privately owned by a farmer who only allows traffic for the County Fair to park there. He understandably did not want to put added stress on the fields, cause we all know what happens when you do that…back to the drawing board!
My dad and I then headed up to Frederick Fairgrounds in Frederick MD, it was nice, definitely had plenty of parking and covered areas but it just wasn’t screaming Lucketts, so the search continued.
Where else is there? Well, thanks to the historic manor house I restored a few years ago, I spent a bit of time in Clarke County. I love Clarke County because it reminds me of Loudoun County when my family first moved here 27 years ago. Its very beautiful, charming, and is just a little “old school”. So my dad and I headed out to the Clarke County Fairgrounds in Berryville. The minute we arrived I knew I was in exactly the right place. I felt like if Lucketts were a fairground, this would be it. I’m talking loads of parking, towering oak trees, charming buildings, and easy access off of Route 7.
It’s owned by the Clarke County Ruritans, some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Each time I go there, whether I’m showing it off to new vendors or ironing out details of the upcoming Spring Market, I feel right at home. Once we get over the scary aspects of planning an event in a new place, I don’t think we’ll ever look back. I truly feel like we have made the best decision for us, our vendors, and our customers, and I’m beyond excited to show you all what amazing potential this new venue has. Soon enough we’re going to be wondering why we didn’t do this a long time ago…