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Spanish Fork community helps Fiesta Days vendors after storm leaves booths in shambles

Posted at 10:32 PM, Jul 23, 2021

SPANISH FORK, Utah — Vendors in Spanish Fork reopened at Fiesta Days Friday after a storm the night before forced those local businesses to close. Rain soaked the merchandise and ruined art. Wind gusts carried away hand-made items and blew over one vendor's canopy.

READ: Streets flooded, trees damaged after severe thunderstorm hits Wasatch Front

People packed the craft fair isles Friday evening, stopping at each tent to admire the treasures within.

It's those fun little finds that make Fiesta Days memorable.

"Look at this necklace! Look at that!" one woman exclaimed at the booth Meraki Market. Addelyn Brotherson creates jewelry from spoons. She also makes turquoise jewelry and printed T-shirts.

One customer asked her about Thursday's storm. It was the talk of the event Friday -- clearly what is making Fiesta Days memorable this year.

"My canopy literally took off," Brotherson recounted. The girl replied, "Yeah, I bet. That would be so scary!"

Brotherson described the chaos that ensued when wind gusts and heavy rain suddenly moved in. She said people took shelter in her tent. Not too long later, she said, the wind lifted up her tent and folded it over onto the neighbor's booth. The entire canopy collapsed and broke.

All her T-shirts were drenched.

"I was honestly just worried about all of my merchandise," Brotherson explained. "Because I really stressed about that. Because if it's ruined, then you have to take your losses."

"All of a sudden it came down in a tidal, and it was... all of us were ducking and running for cover," described James Humpherys, an artist from Salt Lake City who runs the business Motorcave.

Humpherys sells impressive pencil drawings of WWII-era planes and classic cars. He talked about how he rushed to get his drawings all packed up. The top of his canopy began to fill with water, with nowhere to drain.

Eventually Humpherys said he had to cut holes in the canopy to let the water.

He lost a few of his drawings in the downpour.

"A lot of panic, I'd say. Like the booth behind you, they were panicking to cover everything up," Humpherys said.

At that moment he was recounting that experience, a woman walked up, admiring his work.

"This is beautiful!" she said, in awe.

"Oh, thank you very much! You're welcome," he replied. Humpherys went on to show her some of his drawings, and she remarked how they looked like pictures someone took with a camera. He said one took 11 months to complete.

It was apparent how much the people and community helped lift these local artists, allowing them to quickly bounce back.

WATCH: Inspiring sight as neighbors help neighbors in storm cleanup efforts

"They're breathtaking, so thank you for showing us this beautiful talent you have!" the woman said enthusiastically.

Humpherys thanked her for coming to enjoy it.

More people filtered into his booth, taking in his work.

"We're all persevering here," Humpherys said. "We're all eager to be involved in these local community events. So we're all here, we're all carrying on."

Brotherson shared how community members volunteered Thursday night and Friday morning to help people clean up and get their booths ready to reopen craft fair.

"This morning, there was the cutest family. They were so sweet, they just said, 'Hey, we're here to help. What can we do?'" Brotherson said.

She said they told her they were there specifically to help after seeing what the vendors went through.

"Which is so awesome," she said. "It really warms your heart when you're here and you're struggling, and there's just people to jump in and give a helping hand."

As people jumped in to put things back together, Brotherson expressed how thankful she was for all who helped.

"There was just random people, just, 'What can I do? How can I help you?'" she said. "And so, I just went home with a really grateful heart for the rain, and for people with kind hearts, and that it turned out the way it did."

Fiesta Days continues Saturday, featuring the craft fair, carnival and events from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on the corner of Main Street and Center Street in Spanish Fork.