EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – The Ticket Chairman and the Streets Co-Chair of the Fall Festival, Joe Petitjean, spoke with us Wednesday about how quickly the booths set up and tear down at the beginning and end of the festival.
Brandon Bartlett: Let’s talk about the setup process that goes into organizing all these booths.
Joe Petitjean: It’s organized chaos. They come in at 7 on Sunday morning. In a couple hours, you blink and they’re there. The people who bring the booths in are all volunteers. They know what they’re doing. We kind of get out of their way and let them have it.
BB: It is stiff competition if you want some real estate down here.
JP: Not too many people get out once they get in, but a lot of booths do have problems with volunteers. That’s unfortunate because our club is all about volunteering in the first place. We urge people to volunteer, help out.
BB: You only have a certain amount of space down here.
JP: 137 booths is what we have space for. We have 135 this year so there’s room. We have a waiting list that we keep up with because we can only keep certain booths in certain spots.
BB: Some non-profits have been on that list for a while too.
JP: I’ve been in the club 13 years and I know some of them have been on the list that long.
BB: You work with the booths here. Tell us the secret to getting people in: is it to find something unique to sell?
JP: Some of it’s that. People are always chasing the new item, but a lot of people – me for example – I’ve been coming here 30+ years but I still have staples I go to. A lot of people know what they want. They might branch out here and there. A new thing every now and then, somebody might try it.
BB: Let’s talk about the cleanup process. This is done virtually overnight.
JP: As quick as they get put up, it’s torn down just as quick. We ask them to be off the street by 9 a.m. Sunday morning and by noon we’re done. It’s very impressive how it happens and it’s just people. A lot of help!
BB: Thanks so much Joe for joining us.
JP: Thank you.
(This story was originally published on October 9, 2019)