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Arlington Street Fair fills Olympic Avenue

 

Christopher Andersson

Locals Jen Dallas, left, and Becky Feldesi, center, talk with Jessica Martin, right, owner of local organic tea business Rabbits Pantry during the Arlington Street Fair on July 13.

Almost 200 vendors lined up on Olympic Avenue for the annual Arlington Street Fair which was held July 13 to 15 this year.

The Downtown Arlington Business Association (DABA) runs the event each year to bring people downtown and as a fundraiser.

"It's absolutely fantastic, everyone's having a good time. We have a huge crowd out here today, more so than we had last year on Friday," said Jeri Rugtvedt, DABA member and organizer for this year's street fair.

"A couple of police officers told Jeri that this was the biggest Friday crowd they could remember," said Dennis Rugtvedt, Jeri's husband and a vendor at this year's street fair.

The street fair had 200 vendors scheduled at one point, but because of a couple of emergencies they were just under that mark during the fair this year.

Many people enjoy coming down to see the wide variety of items available at the event.

"I think it's the variety. There's so many different things to pick from. If you're looking for something you can find it here, especially if its handmade or handcrafted, I think that's the best part," said Dennis Rugtvedt.

Local Becky Foldesi said she lives in the area and comes every year. "It's great. I just got tea," she said.

"I just like the local aspect and being able to support local," said local Jen Dallas who also said she comes every year.

Many of the vendors and visitors also enjoy the social aspect of the street fair.

"There's been a lot of people just meeting up and getting together," said Jeri Rugtvedt.

"I love meeting all the new vendors and people, and getting to chat with them. Just seeing all the people that come out. It's such a sense of community here," she said.

Vendors said they enjoyed interacting with people as well.

"It's fun, I just like meeting all the local people," said Jessica Martin, owner of Rabbits Pantry, a local organic hand-packed tea business.

Many of the artists and businesses can get direct feedback as well.

"I like the part where people walk up and go 'oh my god, I love your art.' That just makes you feel 'wow, someone likes what I'm doing,' even if they don't buy anything," said Dennis Rugtvedt.

The funds raised by DABA from of the street fair go to their efforts to improve the downtown and the greater community.

More information on DABA and their events is available at arlingtonwa.org.

 

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