Whimmydiddle brings 'million-dollar day'

9/30/2013

By BECKY MALEWITZ

By BECKY MALEWITZ

bmalewitz@gctelegram.com

SCOTT CITY — Saturday marked the 41st anniversary of Scott City's annual Whimmydiddle festival, and Louise Buell from Garden City has had a booth at almost all of them.

Buell, who creates and sells Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls and tea towels for her booth, covered by a blue and white tent, can remember setting up on the courthouse lawn years ago before the arts and craft show moved to it's current location in the city park.

The brightly colored dolls pinned to the tent walls attracted a variety of parents and children, including 2-year-old Piper Jessup, who seemed to be singing a song as she touched the bright red yarn hair of one doll and then the purple yarn hair of a K-State Raggedy Ann.

"We are liking this. It turned out to be a nice day," Kristin Jessup said as she watched her daughter trying to pick out a favorite. "She's loving these dolls."

"Loving these dolls," Piper repeated with a big smile on her face.

After some deliberation, Piper walked up to Buell holding a Raggedy Ann in one hand and a Raggedy Andy in the other.

"Oh see, this is why I make them," Buell said, looking down at the 2-year-old. "The kids just love them."

At the other end of the park, Tonja Williams stood at her booth with her daughter, Aubrey Horton, and mother, Carrie Marion, selling "Tonja's Toffee."

Although the Modoc resident has been to the annual event many times as a customer, this year was her first trip as a vendor.

"It goes faster having people come to me," Williams said. "I think this year seems a lot busier than what I have seen in the past."

Williams, who just started selling her homemade toffee, was using Whimmydiddle to get her product out.

"It's been awesome. It's been a great experience. It's been a great way to meet new people and get your product to your customer base," she said. "I will definitely be here next year."

According to members of the Alpha Omega, a chapter of Epsilon Sigma Alpha sorority who run the annual festival, this year brought a similar total number of booths as last year's, but there were 45 new vendors in the park.

"It's a million dollar day between sales and tax. It doesn't just benefit here at the park, it's the whole town. Husbands go golfing at the golf course while their wives come shop. They get done here, they go downtown to the local shops, and boy do they eat in the restaurants in town. And the hotels are booked a year in advance," said Kathy Funk, Alpha Omega member. "It impacts the entire community."

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