By Lauren Boughner
Starting in February each year, Kay Thompson becomes a much busier person. As director of the CarmelFest MarketPlace, she prepares and reviews applications, answers thousands of emails and plans and organizes the 100 spots available for vendors.
Each year presents a challenge to bring new, fun and creative booths to the festival.
“If I can provide festival-goers an interesting variety of booths with items to buy or games to play and booths with interesting displays or fun giveaways providing community info, then I’ve done my job,” Thompson said.
Although this year is officially Thompson’s 12th as director, she assisted her husband in his five years as director before she assumed the role. Cindy Roberts-Greiner, public relations director of CarmelFest, said Thompson always looking for ways to improve the MarketPlace.
Thompson said she cares not just about the attendees, but about the vendors, too.
“For many vendors, craft fairs such as CarmelFest are their sole source of income,” she said. “I encourage everyone to remember this and make a vendor’s day by buying their products. It’s well worth your effort to walk around and look at the booths.”
Thompson and Roberts-Greiner are excited about the MarketPlace this year because they look forward to seeing people interact with the additions, including a photo booth.
The vendor lineup can change up until the day of the event, so the work doesn’t end for Thompson until the festival is over.
“Kay Thompson is a modest person who puts in countless hours,” Roberts-Greiner said. “She does an incredible amount of work and doesn’t expect to be the star of the show.”
Attendees can find booths surrounding the Carmel fountain (south of the fire station), lined up on Gradle Drive and in the CarmelFest NorthZone (north of the fire station) during the festival.
CarmelFest MarketPlace vendors
- Kids items
- Bearmojo: furry monster plush accessories and creatures
- Busy Bee Headbands: non-slip headbands
- Cheeky by Shannon: stuffed animals
- Curly Whirl Whimsies: tutu dresses and accessories
- Extreme Face Painting: full face painting
- Fabulously Fun: face painting
- Henna Art: Henna temporary tattoos
- Kid’s Kloset: tutus and accessories
- Lolo Doll: American Girl doll clothing
- Over the Line: caricaturist
- Sam Indy: fun, unique helium balloons
- Sparkle Program: interactive arts and crafts, hair glitter
- Wizard Barts: wizard supplies
- Craft vendors
- Adams: Lilla Rose hair accessories
- Archer Rustic Creations: Barnwood and Mason jar lights
- Artfully Dished Up: repurposed dishes for birds, kid-safe bows and arrows
- Baraka Ethnic Jewelry: jewelry and clothes
- Barnhouse Farms: recycled wood signs and home décor
- Birane Tall: sunglasses
- Boutique on Wheels: women’s apparel and accessories
- Brown Bag Soap: homemade soap
- Chelleter Skelter: fabric flower bouquets
- ChemiChic: home décor based on science
- Confident You Beauty: skin care products
- Copper Dragonfly: jewelry
- Costello: homemade soap
- Cynthia Frank: tie-dyed clothing
- Debra May: author of Legendary Locals of Carmel
- Designs by Diana: framed pictures and doggy dresses
- Emily Kai: jewelry
- First Sgt. Woods: wooden pens and puzzle boxes
- Horizon Wind Spinners: wind spinners
- Kindred: boheme clothes
- Le Jardin Cottage: gnome homes
- Little Gypsie Boutique: jewelry and clothes
- My Pretty Babi: fabric wallets
- Name on Rice: your name on a grain of rice
- Native’s Touch: jewelry and clothes
- Nectar of the Vine: prepackaged slushy mixes for wine
- Nerium: skincare products
- No Assumptions: 3D pictures
- Old Post Road Oils: homemade soap
- Perfectly Posh: skin care products
- Prism Tie Dye: tie-dyed clothing
- Terranova: clothing
- The Shine Project: jewelry made by inner-city at-risk youth
- White: handbags
- *List is tentative and subject to change