Longview Trade Days vendors struggling because of heat

Longview Trade Days have seen thinning crowds since July, and that’s hurting the vendors who need crowd volume for sales.
Published: Aug. 14, 2022 at 4:28 PM CDT

LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - Trade fairs have traditionally been popular shopping stops in East Texas, but the brutal July and August temperatures have taken a toll on them.

Vendors at Longview’s Trade Days have felt the economic effects of sparse crowds.

The “one weekend a month” event has seen thinning crowds since early July, when the heat wave hit.

“107 degrees out here on this asphalt. People just leaving because it’s just too hot,” said Manager Billy Clay.

“Yeah, it’s gotten kind of slow. I know it’s hard for a lot of other vendors,” says vendor Brian Boyd.

“Pre-COVID, there were people 4 and 5 deep walking through this building. It was sad to me today when I came in a looked at the parking lot at the amount of vendors that weren’t there. Now the people are hurting, and they come out here, and it’s not so good,” says longtime vendor Marc Cowing.

The vendors need the volume. This isn’t free. They have to pay for their space, tables and chairs.

Volume traffic means a better percentage for sales.

“I would like to not have to pack anything up at the end of the show because I’ve sold out, but that hasn’t been happening,” says vendor Misty Pepper.

For some the “every second full weekend” event represents a substantial part of their income.

“These people need it. They need an outlet to do this,” Clay says.

“This is my main show I go to every month, so it’s pretty important,” Pepper says.

They’ve been through this before when they weathered the COVID storm. All they can do is wait for fall and bigger crowds.

“We’re strong; we’re gonna come back,” says Clay.

“It’s a waiting game. It’s going to get better. It always does,” says Pepper.

With the exception of September, when the Gregg County Fair is held, Longview Trade Days is open the second full weekend of every month.

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