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Athena Scalzi

Walmart Parking Lot Extravaganza

Athena ScalziI follow a boba tea shop on Facebook called Oh! Boba and they posted a couple days ago that they’d be serving boba tea at a “Community Extravaganza” event hosted in the parking lot of a local Walmart. I had never heard of this event before, but apparently it’s the second annual one! The event boasted 40+ vendors, food trucks, raffles, and more. So, I decided to check it out, if for nothing else, at least for the boba tea.

I definitely wouldn’t say there were over 40 vendors, and there was only one food truck, so it was perhaps a little underwhelming. But, it was more than the  town usually has, so it was at least something.

After perusing the two sides of covered booths, I decided the first thing I had to do was acquire some cotton candy.

This cotton candy is from Cloudy Days Cotton Candy. They had a few different flavors, but I just wanted the most basic, pink vanilla. It was four dollars for a cone, and it was pretty good! Who doesn’t love this iconic sugary pink fluff on a summer day?

About half of the vendors were people just selling Scentsy or Tupperware or other multi-level marketing brands, but a decent amount had handmade crafts, like soaps and candles.

The first thing I ended up buying was two bracelets from a shop that exclusively sold crystals. I’m not big into crystals myself, but I thought I’d get one or two and gift them to friends I know are more into them. One was ten dollars, and the other was eight.

I do find crystals pretty, and I like them aesthetically, but I’m not into them in the way a lot of my friends are regarding their energy and whatnot. I hope the ones I picked out for them have good energy, I just picked colors I thought they’d like. I forgot to grab a business card from this booth, or maybe they just didn’t have any, otherwise I would gladly link y’all to their page.

Moving on, I also thought another one of my friends would like this shiny bookmark!

I actually think it’s pretty cute, I just don’t read enough to require a bookmark, so I’m giving it to my bookish friend. This booth sold only bookmarks, and each one was ten dollars. If you’re interested, you can just look up the name on the business card on Facebook, but based on the other side of their business card it appears they don’t have a Twitter or Instagram I can link.

I came across another booth that sold crystals, except this one put the crystals inside of their candles and wax melts! Apparently they are “hidden gem candles”, though I’m not sure how you go about getting them out of the hot wax. Their business is called Lavender Amethyst Co., and their candles are made from soy wax and hand poured.

I smelled practically every candle they had out on display (there was no one else around so I wasn’t holding up a line or anything), and I was shocked at how spot on all of their candles smelled. They have one called “Cereal Killer” that legit smells exactly like a bowl of cereal. I quite liked everything, but settled on a super floral candle called “Plumeria” (which I didn’t realize until Googling right now that that is a type of flower), and a package of wax melts that are “White Tea & Ginger”. They were having a special where if you bought one candle and one wax melt it was twenty dollars. And they threw in a little free sample of wax melts that are “Honey Oat Milk Bath”.

Everything smells super good, and I’m excited to use them. Though I’m not sure what to do with the crystals that came on top of the wax melts.

The last thing I bought was some handmade soap from a booth with the name “Nitty Gritty Soap Suds LLC”. Again, I got no business card but it says you can like them on Facebook on the paper bag they gave me the soap in. I settled on their bestselling bar, Warm Cashmere. I also got two wooden bar soap holders, because that shit be sliding everywhere in the shower.

All together it was eighteen dollars, six for each item. The soap smells good, but is very strong, and has gold glitter in it. Who doesn’t love glitter?

Finally, to end my little outing, I got the boba I originally came for. Since they were just set up as a little booth, they had limited options, so I just got the Tiger Black Milk Tea. It was seven dollars, and so flippin’ yummy.

The perfect end to my Walmart parking lot adventure.

All in all, it was definitely interesting, and I hope they have even more vendors and whatnot next year!

-AMS

By Athena Scalzi

Twenty three year old girl living life.

9 replies on “Walmart Parking Lot Extravaganza”

Repurposing a Walmart parking lot as a sort of farmers’ market and craft fair is a fun idea! Why not? Might as well, and it’s easier to drive on than a field.

I’m not much older than you, but I am a scientist and can say that you have a ton of support for not being into that crystal-healing stuff. I occasionally see arguments that this kind of thing is harmless, but I’m not so sure, especially when it’s a moneymaking endeavor and/or people’s health is at stake. Either way, while I try not to blame individual people for falling for pseudoscience, I don’t really have the patience to deal with it. There are still plenty of things we don’t understand, of course, but that doesn’t mean society should uncritically accept any old snake-oil nonsense. (I usually hesitate to generalize about any cohort by years of birth, but about the only thing that bothers me about Generations Y and Z at the moment is the apparent popularity of horoscopes.)

One thing I have found about soy wax is that it’s gooey, compared to regular paraffin wax, so it more or less will glue itself to anything it drips on. Just make sure wherever you set it has plenty of protection from the wax.

Did you notice that the top of the bookmark looks like a COVID virus (although maybe you could also make the argument that it’s a dandelion clock.)

Yep, plumeria is a tree with very fragrant blossoms, also known as frangipani. I have 3 blooming in our yard.

We had red, pink and white plumeria plants growing in our Port Isabel, Texas yard. Port Isabel is in Deep South Texas, the tip of Texas a few miles via water from Mexico. Beautiful flowers with a lovely smell. The flowers are often used to make leis.

Athena Scalzi does the Outdoor Vending Fair experience so I don’t have to! YAY!

Thank you, Athena – your prose and pictures brought the experience to life for me so I could reminisce about the taste of cotton candy, remember all those times I saw shiny things in a vendor’s booth and went “ooo!” and made a beeline for it, thought about “Who could I gift THAT to?” and otherwise enjoyed the experience.

Since we’re having a hyper-Covid surge where I am and I have multiple vulnerabilities, “vicariously” is the best way to enjoy such events, and it was a nice little experience you shared.

Rock on.

IME, having gotten a soy candle with amethyst chips and a wee little evil eye charm in it from a former student–once the candle burns down, the crystals are easily retrieved and cleaned.

If you’re wondering what type of crystals your bracelets are, the blue one is most likely either sodalite of lapis lazuli (hard to tell for sure which from such small chips, the patterns on larger pieces make them easier to distinguish – my first impression was sodalite), and the green one is likely aventurine.

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