The inaugural Make It Main Street event kicked off on Thursday with a fair-like buzz around downtown Half Moon Bay featuring local artisans, performances and shops open to the public.
The event, set for every first Thursday of the month until November, celebrates local arts and culture with booths and performances lining Main Street. On Thursday, artisans were selling their wares on Kelly and Main streets next to booths from the Half Moon Bay Library and Parks Department.
Local makers were also out demonstrating their craft, from glass blowing to pottery and guitar making. Mac Dutra Park became a speaker’s space for poetry readings and local city leaders, and musicians led a jam session for all to enjoy.
This week was Fred Crowder’s first time out selling his handmade guitars at a fair. He’s been hand-making them since 2008, when he set out to build his first jazz guitar. He learned the craft through experimentation and with support from experienced crafters in the Northern California Association of Luthiers.
“You just hang out in guitar shops and you meet local builders,” Crowder said.
Each of his guitars is handmade on the Coastside and gleaming with a French polish, whose sheen is audible in its acoustics. Crowder said he doesn’t always sell his guitars, often donating them, but he does custom builds and repair jobs on cheaper imported instruments.
“It’s really hard to compete with that,” Crowder said. “What you’re looking for is people who appreciate a hand build and the details.”
On bustling Main and Kelly streets, Roxanne Beebe stood behind her booth greeting locals and visitors alike. Her Half Moon Bay-themed collection features pumpkin-topped glass bowls and pewter bottle stoppers cast from her hand-carved wax models.
Next to her was Randall Reid’s striking aqua pottery, which he’s been crafting on the Coastside for 42 years. Reid said he hopes to be back next month and the month after that, for as long as he can, to sell his mugs and bowls, to find new students for his classes, and just to see who crosses his path.
“It’s a crapshoot, but it’s worth taking the chance,” Reid said. “I love this town.”