Our Fair Vendor Fair

By Sara Naor

It’s that glorious time of the year again. The smell of kettle corn is fresh in the air, the clothing flies in the wind and shops of all kind dot their way on Ring Road. The moment the Vendor Fair came back, I felt myself pulled toward it by some unknown force and dragged directly to my favorite spot: sunglasses, to pick out my newest pair.

In my freshman year, I had no idea just how unique our vendor fair was. Like every other fresh face on campus, I thought it was a one-time outdoor market with overpriced items hoping to lure in unsuspecting college students into spending some of their parents’ cash.

When I actually went with my friends to peruse the various trinkets, I was shocked by the inexpensive prices, delicious food options and the mixture of cultural opportunities.

My favorite part about the vendor fair is easily the clothing selection. For some reason, rain or shine I will always yearn to pick out a new dress. It does not matter that winter is coming. It does not matter that dresses and lecture halls are hard to mix and it definitely does not make a difference that it is pouring outside my window. For me the vendor fair has always been about shopping and the selection is always choice.

The majority of the booths are clothing related. Most of them contain girls’ fashion but there are definitely one or two that can spark the interest of any male looking or a new T-shirt or jacket. For the most part, I have always found the clothing to be on trend with whatever the season is. During spring, I picked up a lovely summer dress ($16) and in winter I got a hot backless velvet dress ($12). T-shirts are plentiful in the fair and generally range from the truly cheap ($5) to the more inexpensive.

There are usually some more expensive clothing stores when you go to the fair. Some vendors set up shop with gorgeous outfits that range from $50 to $100.

Sprinkled among the clothing booths are booths dedicated entirely to accessories. Whether it be sunglasses, hats, bags, shoes or jewelry you will definitely be able to find it at the Vendor Fair.

The accessories offered, however, do not have as wide a variety as the clothing. Generally there are two to three of the same stands that sell the exact same sunglasses, hats and shoes all for the same price (usually). This week’s fair was especially great for sunglasses because the booths were giving away two for $5. I always love trying on sunglasses and hats with my friends or alone.

The jewelry is always really cute as well and can range from homemade trinkets that are featured on Etsy to high-end fashion accessories. This week there was even one booth boasting jewelry and accessories made from Thailand where wool is the largest commodity, reflected amongst the accessories being displayed.

This week I was also pleased to see that the bookstand was back. I had only seen them once or twice last year on Ring Road selling books for dirt-cheap prices. There was even a box of $1 books that were just begging to be read. I ended up picking up a cookbook for quick meals for only $5.

Besides books there was also a music stand I had not seen before. They were selling vinyl records for $3 to $5 as well as band merchandise (T-shirts and movies) and some really underground CDs.

Food is always a big part of the Vendor Fair.. In between the booths you can find bright yellow signs advertising a cheap (albeit high fat) meal. Kettle corn seems to be a staple among the diets of students this week on campus. I was particularly amused by the students who walked into my film studies class, kettle corn in hand, ready to watch this week’s film. Besides kettle corn, the Vendor Fair also has some stands for smoothies, ice cream and even deep-fried Oreos! Overall I have to give the Vendor fair an A. The fashion choice is always plentiful. Food is a little lacking but not necessarily the biggest part. The accessories are quick to catch my eye on the racks and on my body and the sunglass process are a steal.

I can’t wait for the next one to come around!