Rain doesn’t dampen spirits at Arlington Street Fair | SIDESHOW

ARLINGTON — In spite of a rainy start, the Arlington Street Fair packed Olympic Avenue with crowds of both first-time attendees and returning regulars from July 13-15.

While Friday the 13th proved to be unlucky in weather, skies had mostly cleared by midday on Saturday, July 14, in time for the Legion Park gazebo to host 13-year-old Bellevue and Issaquah magician Matt Wells to perform at noon, followed by country-western band Newt Bell at 2 p.m. and a Bad Company tribute band playing at 5 p.m.

Arlington’s Ryan Pettit has been attending the Street Fair with his family for four of his 13 years, and as he does every year, he had his hand cast in wax and plaster by fellow Street Fair returnee John Pleakley, a familiar novelty vendor at the event.

“He does the hand thing every year,” said Andrea Pettit, Ryan’s mother.

“Last year, I just got my hand cupping a turtle,” Ryan said. “This year, I got it with two plastic eyes attached, like a creature.”

“I like coming out to support my hometown,” Andrea said.

While Denise Verducci lives in Arlington, this year marked her first Street Fair. By contrast, Sylvia Guzman lives in Skagit County, but has still made the trip to visit the Street Fair for the past few years.

“There’s always a lot of variety in the vendors,” Guzman said, after she and Verducci had received samples of Corium 21 Aloe Vera Skin Cream from vendor Veronica Baker on July 14. “As bad as the weather was yesterday, I think it’s a lot bigger this year.”

“I like the feeling of a garage sale on main street,” Verducci said.

Before setting up shop as Arcane Glass in the Marysville area, James Mills began practicing the craft of glass art in 2003, after a tax return of $4,000 inspired him to purchase a kiln, a torch and various other tools of the trade that year.

“My first pieces were so bad compared to what I produce now,” Mills laughed, as he made new pieces on Olympic Avenue during the Street Fair.

Aside from a few lessons with glass artist John Kobuki, all of Mills’ training has come from reading books and watching videos on his craft, which he’s honed for art shows in Boise and Nampa in Idaho before making his debut at Tulalip.

“This is my first Street Fair in Arlington, and I love it,” Mills said. “I love talking to the people that I meet, and I could do demos all day.”

Just south on the same street, the Commons Church of Arlington was fostering a little destruction rather than creation, albeit for a good cause. Kids who donned safety glasses could pay to take a number of whacks at an already beat-up old car with a hammer, to help raise funds for the Commons’ mission trip to Guatemala next March.

“Campbell Nelson Nissan in Seattle donated the car,” said Scott Green, of the Commons’ mission team, on July 14. “They’ve been doing this for years, for high schools too. I like it out here. Yesterday was miserable, but the weather is more cooperative today. It’s nice to see a lot of guys you don’t normally see.”

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