The Mossy Creek Barnyard Festival puts you in the midst of, as the show organizers say, "the way things used to be." More than an arts and craft show, it's a living history weekend. It is also a great example of things working RVers can do at fairs and festivals.
Every April and October artists, entertainers, craftsmen, and vendors come together in the deep piney woods of Georgia. It's been rated the best arts and craft fair in Georgia. We've been to it a couple of times and always had a good time. It's apparent there's a lot of work that goes on, both at the festival and behind the scenes.
Festivals are a wonderful money making opportunity for RVers. Here's what we found one year....
The Mossy Creek Barnyard Festival booths were skimpily stocked. As a show attendee, I was disappointed. The vendors were quite happy -- they had sold out. It was a profitable weekend, a sales success.
Anyone who doubts the profitability of setting up at arts and craft shows should have been at Mossy Creek Barnyard Festival. We arrived early on Sunday morning, the second day of the show. One of the first things I noticed was that many of the vendors had already sold all the stock they'd brought with them.
Due to spectacular sales on Saturday, the exhibitors were running out of merchandise to sell. Some had already sold out and were no longer manning their booths. Several craftsmen had photo albums of their work and were taking orders on commission.
The food vendors were also low or out of the crowd's favorite items. My taco salad lunch was the last one they had. As the man at Sarah's Candies handed me a still warm praline, he announce that it was the final batch. Opportunities for mobile workers extended beyond arts and crafts dealers and food vendors.
Entertainers were busy throughout the day. Some were hired by the Mossy Creek show organizers to perform at certain times. Others performed to promote themselves and their products.
Storytellers, cloggers, rag time piano players, and fiddlers were among the scheduled entertainers.
Harpsichord and dulcimer players, along with various other instrumentalists and vocalists gave live performances. They also played recordings of their music and sold them. Some were selling the instruments themselves. One man was giving lessons.
Broom and brush makers demonstrated their talents and sold their products. Angora wool spinners and weavers did likewise.
Many of the people working the show were doing so in pairs. One man was busy carving wooden duck decoys while his partner sold small carvings and Christmas ornaments. Presumably, these were hand-crafted by the decoy carver.
The petting zoo was a popular attraction at Mossy Creek, as it seems to be at most events where we see one. They were selling countless numbers of cups of animal chow, to children and adults alike, to feed to the animals.
A crowd was gathered around the blacksmith as he worked his forge. He fashioned plant hangers, coat hooks, and wine bottle holders. He answered questions about his trade while people watched and purchased his crafts.
After spending the day at Mossy Creek, there is no doubt about it. It is definitely possible and practical to make a living by participating in shows and festivals. There are many arts and crafts shows and living history festivals. But, if you are specifically interested in this one, the location and contact info is listed below.
Mossy Creek Barnyard Festival is located in central Georgia, between Perry and Warner Robins. The festival site is at 315M Lake Joy Road, Perry, GA 31069.
Mossy Creek Barnyard Festival
106 Anne Drive
Warner Robins, GA 31093
Ph. (478) 922-8265
2015 Update: After a 34-year run, the Mossy Creek festival is no more. It was a family run festival. The family matriarch, Carolyn Chester, is now in her 90's. She is wheelchair bound, has suffered a stroke, and suffers from dementia. Her family reports that they can no longer care for her and continue the festival. Festival participants, attendees, and the Warner Robins community will miss the Mossy Creek Barnyard Festival.
2018 Update: I was contacted by the man who bought the property. He wants to get the festival going again! Although this article is about the Mossy Creek Barnyard Festival in particular, you can apply much of the information about the kinds of work for RVers and campers to other festivals.