Best of the Bayou seeks arts and crafts vendors

Best of the Bayou announces applications are now available to potential arts and crafts vendors interested in selling goods at the festival Sept. 29-30 in downtown Houma.

An “arts walk” or festival marketplace will be centrally located on the festival grounds, mid-way between two music stages set to anchor the quarter-mile festival site. The marketplace is to consist of original artwork and handmade crafts only. Some “homegrown” pre-packaged food, such as spices, sauces, jellies, etc. may also be considered for acceptance into the festival. Conversely, commercial or “re-sale” items will be strictly prohibited for sale at the festival.

The festival has partnered with Options for Independence in Houma — a not-for-profit social services agency and creators of the Gulf Coast Marketplace — who will accept and review applications on the festival’s behalf and will also assist in the coordination of all arts and crafts vendors in advance of and during the festival.

Gulf Coast Marketplace is a virtual marketplace for artists and craftsmen that began after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico as an “e-commerce solution to community recovery.” The website, www.thegulfcoastmarketplace.org, helps connect skilled artisans, authors, photographers, etc. to existing and new opportunities for the sale of their works.

As a result of this partnership, Options/GCM and the Best of the Bayou Foundation —also a not-for-profit, will split the proceeds from craft booth rental. All proceeds to the festival go back into the production and sustainment of the festival, which is free to the public. Vendors will retain full percentage of their sales.

The full vendor packet which includes a map of the planned marketplace is now accessible for download or printing via the festival’s website at www.bestofthebayou.org or GCM’s website.

Applications will be accepted at an “early bird” rate through Aug. 20 and space will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, as well as regarding electrical needs.

For information, interested vendors should contact Brandi LeCompte at 985-438-1231 or via email at brandi@thegulfcoastmarketplace.org.

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