MIDDLEBORO — Though three months away, anticipation over Krazy Days, the annual local business, food, and entertainment festival that takes over the historic downtown district of Middleboro for a weekend, is immense as organizers for the event strive every year to surpass expectations.
Since its resurrection in 2012, the primary goal of Krazy Days has been to draw people from all over the region and highlight the best local businesses Middleboro has to showcase. Thanks to word of mouth and success in its vision, Krazy Days has gradually grown every year with vendors from all over New England signing up to meet the thousands of consumers it attracts.
“Our goal is to allow folks to have the opportunity to reach people they wouldn’t normally meet. We’re very open to anyone who wants to set up,” said Amanda Heroux, Co-Chair of the Krazy Days Committee and member of Middleborough on the Move, which organizes the festival and other events to promote economic development for the town.
The event’s far-reaching draw and attraction outside the immediate area not only means a greater increase of commerce for the town, but also a potential breakthrough for smaller vendors looking to make an impact and grow their audience.
Last year, Krazy Days drew over 200 vendors and filled 214 tent and table spots across the street fair’s scope, the largest it had been since its rebirth. According to Heroux, roughly two-thirds of those vendors were from outside Middleboro last year.
“Krazy Days provides a unique business development opportunity for small business startups,” said Ginny Landis, Treasurer for Middleborough on the Move, promoting the event at the Board of Selectmen meeting on April 30.
Heroux believes that, at the rate they’re currently receiving vendor applications, previous numbers will at the very least bet met, if not exceeded. “We’re contacted by vendors from all across the state and out-of-state. This tells me Krazy Days is getting name and reputation out. It grows and expands every year,” said Heroux.
There is also a ripple effect of business that stretches out past the festival. According to Heroux, even businesses in the downtown area that don’t participate in Krazy Days still take advantage of the crowds. “It closes off some roads, so there are some traffic problems, but it is usually extremely welcome. Businesses hold promotional events and sales. They’re expanding their reach. It’s a big weekend for them.”
One notable change from previous years is the street configuration. This year, instead of having the vendors sprawled across Main St. and multiple side streets, the organizers have concentrated most activities on Center St., spanning between the corners of Main and Oak. “It’s a more funneled area, so it’s much easier to organize,” said Heroux.
There is also the possibility of having Middleboro vendors, artists, and stores concentrated into one sector of the festival, dubbed Merchants of Middleboro. “We’re always looking to celebrate Middleboro, and this year is an extra special celebration,” said Heroux.
Activities and attractions will also take up the Town Hall lawn and parking lot adjacent to Massasoit College on Nickerson Ave. The Town Hall lawn will host a food courts, as well as a farmers’ market sponsored by Middleboro’s Agricultural Commission.
In the Massasoit parking lot will be a special Tasters’ Choice competition with local restaurants, as well as BBQ competition hosted by the New England BBQ Society. Prices will be $1 per taste for hungry tourists.
This year also brings back the Passport program where attendees accumulate stamps for every recognized stop at a local vendor or exhibit and can turn in their count for special prizes donated by local businesses.
Like previous years, there will be live musical performances, though the Committee for Krazy Days can’t yet divulge details on the lineup. Last year’s entertainment stage included a Beatles tribute band.
It also wouldn’t be Krazy Days if it wasn’t family-friendly. Though still in the works with 3 months to the festival, the Committee is looking into setting up an enclosed tent on the Town Hall lawn and having circus-themed activities. There will also be a petting zoo and a touch-a-truck exhibit for kids. In addition, the Committee is also looking to organize a storytelling for kids hosted by Middleboro Library and an athletic demonstration presented by the YMCA.
Vendors applying for space at Krazy Days are charged a non-refundable festival fee, along with a reservation fee. If Middleboro-based businesses attend both days of the event, they can elect to either be reimbursed the reservation fee, or donate it back to Middleborough on the Move. According to both Landis and Heroux, 80% of local vendors last year donated the fee back to the organization.
Said Ginny Landis: “Krazy Days holds a special place in our heart for the organizations who work hard all year to help our Middleboro citizens.”
Krazy Day will happen Friday August 3 and Saturday August 4, from 10AM – 5PM. Applications to be a street vendor are currently being accepted now through July 1. You can learn more about Krazy Days at middleboroughonthemove.org or on its Facebook page.