Steppin’ OUT  festival was a friend’s idea, and the spouse was none too happy because, once again, the COVID virus is out there, but this time, as the more contagious Delta variant. I could understand his hesitation, but this was outside. I didn’t want to disappoint her.


It was August, after all, and man, it can be hot. Steppin’ OUT provided a needed distraction. A summer distraction away from sickness, and extreme heat, because it was so interesting, what they had to offer. We stopped at a number of Steppin’ OUT booths, and some of you may think, well, “we” have our own festival, our own summer distraction. Good for you and I hope you can patronize it yourself as well (as a vaccinated person I felt pretty safe). Summer and even everyday vendors I know have suffered because of the pandemic, and now we are in a mini-pandemic. It pays for them if you show up and buy something, though there are those in the environmental community who believe we should be buying less and conserving, trying to be sustainable. Is that possible? It is a tough subject no one wants to address, but someday we will have to.

And it will take some effort to address that in the future. In the mean time, Steppin’ OUT, near Virginia Tech, brought people outside to get some exercise, but also to spend some summer or vacation money. There were people from other states. I bought these very pretty wooden flowers from a guy from Michigan, several states away. I helped make his time worth it, though I’ve no idea what the Steppin’ OUT booth rentals cost. Probably a pretty penny.

Speaking of that, I think I only saw one author there. Selling books at Steppin’ OUT or any festival is, I think, a crap shoot, as they say. Will anyone come over and talk to you about your books? If you have no giveaways at your festival booths (like candy, book marks or other souvenirs) it may be difficult to make money at an arts and crafts and music festival like Steppin’ OUT. It wasn’t too far to travel to for me, but if you come from far away, you hope it would be worth it in some way.

My friend Judy and I ate at a local eatery just off of the festival because they were smart. In front of their restaurant, they were selling drinks. I don’t know if other places were out like that at Steppin’ OUT. Possibly. Judy moved so darn fast it was hard for me to see everything, though we almost did. At one point I considered buying these woven baskets that I think someone said were originally from Africa, or at least in design.

Festivals like Steppin’ OUT I think serve an important purpose in the community. They help bring out people and businesses; they provide an atypical activity, give kids and adults alike some exercise, and in the sun you all will get some vitamin D! Isn’t that one good reason to go to a local/regional summer festival?

The spouse got antsy and separated from Judy and me, and we’d meet up every hour. I would have liked to stay to listen to some music, but he wanted to hit the road. He was still a bit nervous about the virus, though we are both vaccinated. I wish everyone would get vaccinated so that the virus just goes away. But at least, at an outdoor event with people spread out or moving through venues quickly, you are less likely to get sick. I think.

Maybe next year I will promote a book at one of these outdoor events myself. Writing is my thing and I want to share it.

Pictured above: A few of the items on sale at Steppin’ Out.

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