The first casualty of the craft market is parking. Always at a premium in this village, there were no empty parking spaces in town as hundred of people descended on the market square.
Many biked, while others parked on the outskirts and hiked into town for one of the biggest events of the year, second only to Fastnacht. This year I figured out the appeal.
Last year I enjoyed the splash of color everywhere as vendors set up displays of ceramics, garden decorations, jewelry, clothing and much more. It all looked pretty expensive to me (as similar festivals do in Canada) so I wasn’t tempted to part with cash for something that I wanted but didn’t really need. Judging from the throngs, I was in the minority.
I’m a little wiser this year, better able to understand the attraction. To put it bluntly, there is nothing else to do on a holiday, so people come to the craft market.
Saturday was bright and sunny, and I had errands to run that kept me out of town almost all day. The market looked appealing in the early morning, but not all that crowded. I saw some nice stuff, but nothing I couldn’t live without. Handmade goods can be expensive.
Sunday as I drove home from church I could see dozens of people hiking into town, as well as a steady stream of cars. The market square was packed. And the skies were threatening.
I tend to avoid outdoor events in bad weather. The clouds would have deterred me from attending a craft market, even if I was the sort of person who goes to craft markets. But this is Germany. What else would you do?
On Sunday the stores are closed. The soccer season is (I think) over, except for the Women’s World Cup, which is just getting underway. There’s not really anything to do, except hike or go to a craft market. I guess those who don’t like hiking made their way to Sulzburg. What was a little rain? Or a lot of rain, given that it poured throughout the afternoon.
It was the same on the holiday Monday. (I don’t know if other countries get a holiday for Pentecost, but here there’s a day off work and the schools are closed for two weeks. Though I doubt one German in a hundred could tell you what happened at Pentecost) There was rain in the forecast and it rained pretty much non-stop all day, but there were lots of people out buying crafts.
What else could they do on a holiday?