Field Trip: The Spring Creek Barn Sale

One of our most favorite local events, held in the Shenandoah Valley each fall, is the Spring Creek Barn Sale. Put on by a handful of dedicated and supportive volunteers in the small, rural community of Spring Creek, this family-friendly event celebrates the talent of area makers, artists, and creatives. This years event will take place October 12th and 13th. 
We thought we would give you a behind-the-scenes look at the event and its history by interviewing the market's founder Amy Showalter, and 5th-year volunteer and vendor, Sara Christensen.

How did the Spring Creek Barn Sale get started?

 Amy: "The Barn Sale started when I told a few friends about an idea I had for a vintage market, and they said let's do it! They joined the first two years and then started having more babies so the planning team has transitioned over the years." 

How long have you been hosting the barn sale? What brings people back year after year?

Amy: "This will be the 7th year. People come back because our vendors make such beautiful and useful products, but they stick around because there has been an amazing community connection. It's a place to shop, to linger, and be inspired! It's a great way that people can connect with agriculture, through conversations and even just enjoying the fields and animals on the drive. We live in an incredibly diverse farming community and I hope to see the town and country connections continue to grow." 

What can people expect to find if they attend this year's sale?

Amy: "I'm excited about new vendors because it's often been their first market. The hardest thing is to start something! The Barn Sale is a great place to do that! You can expect to find vendors who personally make and/or design every item they sell. We work to bring makers together with common values and goals because it makes a richer experience. This year we've added classes and demos that I'm super excited about! (Paul at Lineage will be doing a demo on making your own personalized leather keychain). We also have a very excited 11-year-old boy who will be showing one of his calves! He's from Spring Creek and has been working on our farm after school and all through the summer. "Cookie" is a 2-month-old Red Holstein heifer that is the start of his very own herd of dairy cows."

What do you love most about hosting the barn sale every year?

Amy: "I have loved watching it grow and evolve over the years. We didn't really know where we were going when we started but we were driven by the desire to celebrate the creativity that was born in us through the heart of our Creator. The Barn Sale has really found its purpose as a handmade market. My husband and I host the sale, but it's continued so many years because of the energy and skill each of the members on the planning team have brought, who have taken it as their own."

How has the barn sale brought you closer to the community?

Amy: "C.S. Lewis says ..."Friendship must be about something, even if it were only an enthusiasm for dominoes or white mice. Those who have nothing can share nothing; those who are going nowhere can have no fellow-travelers.”  The barn sale has created an opportunity to share ideas, to cultivate a desire to learn more, and to recognize skills that neighbors and friends have that I might have missed otherwise. I have neighbors who are artists, and have interests I had no idea about! To me, making things with your hands is about a road I want to travel and I love finding others who say - "What, you two? I thought I was the only one!" (C.S. Lewis)"

How long have you been involved with the Spring Creek Barn Sale?

Sara: "I've been a vendor at the Barn Sale for 6 years + this is my 5th year helping on the planning team!  I help with vendor communications, day-of logistics, and our social media/marketing pages."

What do you love most about being involved?

Sara: "Working with the other women on our planning team has brought many dear friends into my life.  It's such a joy to laugh and dream with them about this special weekend, and it's always exciting to see our plans turn into reality when all of the vendors are set up and folks come to enjoy their goods.  I'm also incredibly inspired by all of the artisans and community members that devote their time and energy to the Barn Sale every year.  Everyone who helps or vends at the Barn Sale is involved because we truly believe in this celebration of artists and community."

How has the barn sale brought you closer to the community?

Sara: "Getting to know all of the vendors and meet their families and friends connects me to people that I might not otherwise meet because I work in Downtown Harrisonburg.  Many of our makers live outside of Harrisonburg, so it's been a really wonderful experience to get to know other parts and folks in the Shenandoah Valley through this event.  The Barn Sale is also a huge, happy reunion, as many of us only see each other this one weekend a year!"
We hope you enjoyed our glimpse into this fun local community event. Make it a part of your weekend plans and come out to the Spring Creek Barn Sale!

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