My friends and I frequently talk about events or places that we would really like to go to…some day. Well, in the spirit of getting older, I decided that this year we would go to Ghoultide Gathering in Chelsea, Michigan. These artists put on a good show. They seem to do everything right and we have wanted to go and experience it in person. When I mentioned it to friend Joel Hoy, he literally clapped with delight. He and partner Daniel Epley decided to go, too. It’s a 10-hour drive for us from Des Moines and probably another four hours for the guys, but we were undaunted. Bruce and I drove it in one day. Joel, Daniel and I arose early to “get the whole experience” as Joel put it. We were at the fairgrounds an hour before the doors opened for early buy and lined up in the early morning to await the magic moment when the doors would be opened and all of the Halloween art would be revealed.
It was cold waiting for the doors to open, but the outdoor decorations were fabulous. Here are Daniel and Joel with a huge Ghoul under a tent set up outside the venue where folks were waiting. We actually met a few people we knew while we waited
I have to say that this is the coolest show I have been to and the artistry of the whole event was fabulous. Here are Daniel and Joel in the tent that was provided for early-buyers. It was cold that morning and I wished I had brought a jacket as I shivered in my sweater.
We got a chance to chat with some of the other early-birds while we waited and discovered that they come from far and wide and try not to miss this event.
When we finally got to go inside, we were treated to wonderful displays at each booth. They had imaginative backdrops, table coverings and props and some were even in costume. Poche even took advantage of the steel fairgrounds building’s rafters to hang many pieces in a fascinatingly different approach. This wouldn’t work in every showroom, but how fun! (I have no idea how he got these down for the buyers!)
We have all been in the business for years and there were several artists we knew or with whom we had been to shows or were at least acquainted. We met our friend Jody Battaglia who was there with her Fun Town creatures and her new book which I forgot to purchase in the excitement. It was great chatting with Jody as we hadn’t seen her for ages.
Fellow bear-maker Lori Ann Corelis had these cute and spooky creations. I couldn’t resist a little bear on a pumpkin pin cushion.
I am not a Halloween fanatic, but this show would almost make you one. The whole atmosphere, the presentation, the artwork, the people…not to be missed! I bought a few pieces to enhance my autumn décor at home – after all, I came this far! The town of Chelsea is filled with interesting old houses and restaurants and I wished we had allotted more time so we could explore more of the area. Maybe we’ll have to go back!
When we left, we discovered the outside had been transformed, too. Perfect Halloween experience!