Vendors slots for Strawberry Festival almost all gone

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The Stilwell Strawberry Festival is so popular that vendors started signing up the minute the applications were available, and some areas are already filled.

Kiwanis volunteer Penny Dotson has coordinated the vendor booths for several years.

“We are now sold out of Arts and Crafts prime booth space, as well as the Commercial Platinum,” Dotson said.

Chuck Purkey with Unlimited Concessions was the first to sign up. 

“I had the website ready to go early, as I wanted to make sure all of the links were working and several vendors must have been watching closely and actually signed up before midnight,” Dotson said.

There are 34 spaces now. The Commercial Platinum are 12 spaces on the four corners of the intersection of Second and Division Streets. 

“We are also sold out of Arts and Crafts Prime, the 12 spaces on the corners of Third and Division,” said Dotson.

It’s a lot of work, but the outcome is often a waiting list of vendors.

“We enjoy doing our part to help produce an event that is enjoyable for all ages and creates a fundraiser that helps Adair County youth throughout the year,” Dotson said.

Larry Nettles handles the booth maps and assignments, and answers the vendor phone, 918-797-5097.

“We both work the booth on festival Friday and Saturday. We've been doing it maybe about six years,” said Dotson. 

The vendor booth spaces have been increasing every "normal" year since Dotson and Nettles have been involved.

“We had one year that was canceled due to COVID and that probably affected the next year also. The fact that last year was our Diamond Jubilee and an election year probably increased our vendor numbers, but we have just about hit our maximum due to space limitations,” said Dotson. 

They added the courthouse parking lot for arts and crafts when it was paved a couple of years ago, and last year, they had a huge number of arts and crafts vendors. 

“The attendees enjoy those and there is a lot of diversity among them,” she said.

Dotson doesn’t know who has been attending for the longest period of time.

“Annie Husong, Annie's T-shirts and other items, mentioned on her application that this is her 30th year with a vendor booth. She will be located in her usual spot near the Second and Division intersection,” Dotson said.

There are many long-time vendors, too.

“Campus Ragz has been with us for years, and Unlimited Concessions. And a number of people look forward to Greek to Me for Greek food. Cherokee Silversmith Jack Spinks is a popular arts and crafts exhibitor,” she said.

Spaces are available, but they won’t last long.

“We encourage all vendors to sign up and pay online – especially those who want the Commercial Platinum and Arts and Crafts Prime, our most popular spaces. Although they are the most expensive in each category; they sell out fast,” Dotson said.

Payment can be made online with PayPal, so in a matter of a few minutes, a vendor can apply, pay, and be assured of being placed in the category they want. All information, guidelines, rates, and links are on the Kiwanis website vendor page at  Vendors can also download an application from this page and mail it in with a check, or they can use PayPal if they wish.

“Sites are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis, so it is essential for those who want in a popular category to sign up and pay online. Even though last year was our largest number of vendors, it was a week before [we sold] out. We sold out of our two most popular categories in just over two days this year,” Dotson said.

The Strawberry Festival is the longest-running continuous event in Oklahoma.

“The Strawberry Festival is gaining a great reputation for events in this region,” said Dotson.


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