The Libby Area Business Association has brought back Crazy Days to Libby, and businesses that participated couldn’t be happier with the results of last Friday and Saturday.
Though Friday was fairly slow, by noon Saturday, Mineral Avenue in Libby was packed with people browsing the various booths and sales, said LABA president Gail Burger.
Even set up near the north end of the street, John Drews with his Driftwood Designs hit his sales goal for the day early in the morning, and even had to make a run home to get more.
There was at least one other vendor who sold out on Saturday, Burger said.
The event gave others such as the Drews — who sell mostly at fairs and shows — and organizations such as the Libby Youth Center an additional chance to engage with the public, she said. But it also brought the public into downtown Libby and reintroduced them to the business owners there.
At Curves, Jonette Tubb did a particularly good job of catching people’s attention, Burger said. She also won the 2018 “All-Out Crazy” award for going all-out with her costume and presentation.
Getting people inside to look at the Curves workout center and take in the comfortable, modern feel of the location makes a difference, Tubb said. She was able to make several appointments to talk with potential clients and received several referrals.
“Being able to get people inside, for me, that’s huge,” she said.
In the neighboring space, Linda Bauer of Lindy’s Chalk’n and Craft’n — a Chalk Couture independent designer — was able to get a number of people to sign up for her art classes, she said.
Up Mineral Avenue near the barriers, Scheer Bros. Hobbies set up a radio controlled race course, and got quite a few event attendees to not only participate, but also had many of them sign up for the Kootenai RC Racers club.
“It went very well today,” owner Steve Scheer said. “Overall, I think it was a success. We got in a good seven hours of racing.”
Some who joined in on the racing had never tried the hobby before. Other’s brought their own cars to race around the course in the middle of Mineral Avenue.
It was also a good way to start getting people excited for the indoor racing season for KRCR, which takes place on a track in the business’s basement, Scheer said.
For the first year of bringing back a long-absent event, Burger was pleased with how well Saturday went, she said.
Dawna Wynn, with Wynn Safety and Sports, said she recently returned to the area from St. Louis. Compared to the sales she had at events in Missouri, Crazy Days went just as well, she said.
Like all the other business owners, Wynn said she looks forward to participating in Crazy Days again next year.
This first year back for Crazy Days has already yielded lessons, Burger said.
Next year, they would like to have music to help keep things lively during any lulls, she said. Burger even flirted with the idea of a karaoke contest.
Though the sidewalk art contest was a success, Burger said that the LABA members have discussed expanding on the theme, and some local artists have already expressed interest in being involved.
Burger said they are also considering ways to offer more activities for children, such as a bounce house or climbing wall.
One thing that didn’t go completely as planned, despite asking people not to bring their pets, many showed up with their dogs, Burger said. Yet, there didn’t seem to be any problems as a result.
Since people are going to bring their pets anyway, Burger said they are thinking about maybe having a pet show next year.
This year, there was little foot traffic Friday, and vendors started packing up by 4 p.m. Saturday after the crowds left, Burger said. Originally, Saturday had been planned to go until 7 p.m.
But, it was the first year back, and the LABA members are going to discuss adjusting the hours to fit peak interest, Burger said.
Another area she said LABA wants to expand is the the number of tie-in sales and events by area businesses.
“Just because we’re doing this event doesn’t mean it’s confined here,” Burger said.
She cited several Crazy Days sales around Libby that were timed to coincide with the Mineral Avenue event, such as at the Quilt Cottage and at Dream Machine.
There’s no reason a business has to be a LABA member to be part of Crazy Days, Burger said. Even this year, regardless whether a business was a member or not, if it did something for Crazy Days, she promoted it online with the LABA event on Mineral Avenue.
“And it was really good,” Burger said. “Overall, I’m getting great feedback from the vendors.”