SHERIDAN — In the 10 years since opening with only six vendors in 2011, Born in a Barn has grown from a couple of hundred visitors to upward of 8,000 people passing through the gates as recorded in 2018. This year, Shelley Kinnison, owner and creator of Born in a Barn, is expecting an increase in visitors to a possible 9,000 due to an increase in traveling with COVID-19 restrictions being lifted.
“How many people come from out of the state or out of the county is a pretty significant number. This is a once-a-year major crafts and arts celebration, so I would expect an upward of 50% of those people are from out of state or out of the community,” said Sheridan County Travel and Tourism Executive Director Shawn Parker.
STT has worked with Born in a Barn to reach audiences outside of the Sheridan community through additional social media, billboards and digital advertising, Parker said. The additional foot traffic from out of state generates a lot of revenue for the city. Parker expects that if approximately 1,000 people are spending at least $155 to stay at least one night in Sheridan, then it has a significant economic impact on businesses.
Local businesses that see the most traffic include hotels, RV parks and restaurants.
This year’s Born in a Barn is expected to get a little groovy. Kinnison said the past is coming back in style.
“Expect plenty of 70s boho wicker furniture,” Kinnison said.
With a renewed interest in the fashions of the past century, there’s going to be an interesting mix of decades colliding. Kinnison, who has taken inspiration from the trend, is planning to have backdrops set up for pictures to share on social media. One such backdrop has a 70s theme with an upcycled red couch.
The creative sale has become a place where crafting, upcycling and antiquing has become the main language among the various vendors and visitors. Kinnison describes the sale as not entirely art or craft but as a flea market with style, music and food.
Live music will be performed until noon, with food trucks available through the entire event. Born in a Barn is partnering with Sheridan Memorial Hospital Welch Cancer Center to serve mimosas in the morning to raise money for cancer care in Sheridan County.
More than 90 vendors are expected to be at the event this year. When vendor applications opened in January, space filled up in less than 15 minutes.
Vendors are able to make the space their own and they become similar to mini-stores, Kinnison said. Booths offer upcycled and salvaged materials, jewelry, artwork, antiques, furniture and a wide array of crafted goods.
“Garage sales and estate sales are people’s kryptonite, and this is just a larger version of it,” Kinnison said.
Born in a Barn is Sept. 17-18 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is located at 415 U.S. Highway 14 East in Sheridan. Admission is $5 and children younger than 12 are free.