By Grace Usher
Though the balloons are the main attraction of the weekend, most foot traffic can be seen in the vendor walk. With nearly 50 booths, visitors are bound to find items that aren’t quite what you’d find in the typical store.
Here are some top picks for the unique, and one-of-a-kind-finds:
Touch lamps made of repurposed antiques
Company: Patrick O’ Brien, Reilluminated
Fun Fact: Originally an electrician turned motorcycle technician, O’Brien turned his one-time hobby into a functional-art business, On average, it takes about 1 hour to make each unique piece but his prized trumpet took nearly 14 hours to create.
Learn More: reilluminatedlamps.com
Clothing, Accessories and Home Decor that give back
Company: Drew Grizwald, Wander and Co
Location: Milwaukee, Wisc.
Fun Fact: Each product sold gives back to particular wildlife or social cause charity. Shirts that save animals, candles that plant trees, purchase without guilt
Learn More: https://wanderand.co/
A sweet tooth’s paradise
Company: Edward Jacobucci, Aufeiro Inc, Licorice Factory
Location: Needles, Calif.
Fun Fact: These oversized licorice whips are chemical and preservative free. They are handcrafted in Spain and come in 4 types (sweet, sour, traditional, hot n spicy) and include 20 varieties!
Vendor recommendation: Pina Colada
Accessorize with handcrafted art
Company: Jessica Robertson, Burly Babe
Location: Hudson, Wisc.
Fun Fact: This artist uses basswood to create earrings and home decor. Any sticker purchased will become a donation toward the Joshua Tree National Park.
Learn More: burlybabewoodworking.com
A glass replica of your happy place
Company: Dana and Karen Robbins, Robbins Ranch Art Glass
Location: New Mexico
Fun Fact: This artist duo focus on hand-blown furnace glass hot air balloon replicas. They also design decorative, functional, sculptures, and totem pieces.
Favorite piece: New Mexico Inspired Totem
Learn More: http://robbinsranch.com/
A piece of nature on your dinner table
Company: Cappy, Montana Wildwood Bowls
Location: Billings, Mont.
Fun Fact: Burwood bowls take nearly a year to create through a vigorous steaming, drying, shaping, and oiling process. Each handcrafted bowl comes with a lifetime guarantee.
See what treasures you can find at the 2019 Balloon Festival and Fair Vendor Walkway!