Moses Austin Park

Visitors to Jour de Fete checked out the food and craft vendors in Moses Austin Park on Saturday afternoon. (Herald staff photo)

It was a busy weekend for Brenda Hayden and the other craft vendors who set up shop at Jour de Fete, Ste. Genevieve’s annual two-day summer festival on the second weekend of August.

But busy means good.

“According to the crafters that we talked to, yesterday [Saturday] was a really good day for a lot of them,” said Hayden, who serves as Jour de Fete Committee secretary and coordinator of the arts and crafts show in addition to having her own booth.

“We had a couple of crafters that sold out, so can’t complain. ... I can’t complain about the weather. The food booths all did well.

“We had a good weekend.”

It is never easy to tell exactly how many people come to Ste. Genevieve for Jour de Fete, since there is no admission gate or particular entry point.

The committee members talk to vendors throughout the weekend but don’t debrief all the information for a few days. Anecdotally, organizers heard that motorists on Highway 32 were seeing heavy traffic as far out as MFA.

The Ste. Genevieve Welcome Center had a count of 934 visitors on Saturday and approaching half of that late on Sunday, but it counts only those who walk into the building, largely to cool off, use the restrooms, or — this year — paint a small piece of the bicentennial mural as part of an art project that will be traveling around the state for the next two years. The number is a fraction of those who strolled along Main Street on Saturday.

The area around the Welcome Center was crowded on Saturday morning for opening ceremonies that included a salute to three Project Pioneer families — the Misplays [French] and the Schmidts and Schmelzles [German].

See complete story in the August 14 edition of the Herald.