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A blog featuring author and illustrator stories on the popular Hazy Dell Press children's books including Monster ABC, Goodnight Krampus and Get Dressed, Sasquatch!

University District Street Fair 2017: A Hazy Dell Press Recap

Kyle Sullivan

Last weekend, we had the pleasure of selling our wares and interacting with a lovely swath of Seattleites at the 48th Annual University District Street Fair. Weather makes or breaks street fair events, and this year the weather couldn’t have been more cooperative. The only thing that would have made it more of a success is if our new book, Get Dressed, Sasquatch!, had arrived early and made its debut. Alas, the book will arrive in the next few days and Sasquatch just barely missed out on saying hello to the world last weekend in Seattle’s University District—a neighborhood where he, we are certain, would have felt right at home.

A Neighborhood from the Past
Having spent the heart of my young adulthood as a bright-eyed numbskull denizen of this neighborhood, I will always associate it with political awakening, youthful vibrancy and real-world lessons. In addition to the tens of thousands of university student that live here, Seattle’s University District also harbors a lively cross section of ages, ethnicities, economic classes and viewpoints. At Hazy Dell Press, we strive to make books that are inclusive of all walks of life (even monsters), so we were delighted to spend a weekend with such a fun, pleasant and diverse crowd, watching them interact with our books and providing us with their unique perspectives on our stories and characters.

University DIstrict Street Fair.  Photo by Joe Mabel, CC BY-SA 3.0

University DIstrict Street Fair. Photo by Joe Mabel, CC BY-SA 3.0

Voices from the Crowd
We heard from one 7-year-old girl that she sneaks Monster ABC out of her sister’s room to read at night and take her mind off the reading she is required to do for school. A broad-shouldered dad let us know that Monster ABC was his family’s favorite book and that he had ambitions to have the Sasquatch character from the book tattooed on his arm. We, of course, whole-heartedly approved. A 12-year-old boy let us know that our Krampus from Goodnight Krampus was not “factually accurate.” We smiled and nodded at this succinct feedback. At one point, a man decided to spend a few minutes karate-kicking the tree behind our booth. We understood this feedback to be directed more at the tree than our work, but we took note nonetheless.

Our Books IRL
Selling our books and products in the middle of The Ave (aka, “University Avenue”) is an exciting and edgy experience and a lot different than selling in large, fluorescent-lighted conference halls. We love our shows in conference halls, but street fairs, especially in neighborhoods like the University District, give us a unique opportunity to see our work in a real-world setting with a wide variety of citizens proudly living their lives and enjoying their community.

Many Events to Come
We hope to make books that add a little something to our communities and to the lives of our diverse neighbors, and the University District Street Fair gives us hope that we’re finding a certain amount of success. If you weren’t able to make it to the University District Street Fair, we hope to see you at the next one. This event was the first of many Hazy Dell Press events throughout the summer, fall and winter of 2017, and we couldn’t have asked for a better start to the summer. (To see a full list of events and keep track of our comings and goings, please subscribe to our newsletter.)