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Mar 22, 2013 10:05 AM by Samantha Ptashkin

4th Avenue shop owners hope street fair brings in the cash

TUCSON- The start of spring always brings hope to Monica Cota.

She owns the Rustic Candle Company at 324 N. 4th Avenue.

All weekend she'll be selling her hand-made candles from inside her shop and from a tent at the 4th Avenue Spring Street Fair. "That means we have to prepare and make extra inventory to keep the tent looking full and have a good selection in house as well," Cota says.

Months of preparation for just three days, but Cota says they're three big days. "The Spring Street Fair is kind of our last hurrah because after school gets out, May, June rolls around and it quiets down for the summer months," Cota says.

Cota says in just one weekend she'll take in a typical month's worth of sales.

Down the street Craig Wilson, owner of Creative Ventures at 522 N. 4th Avenue, also looks forward to the fair. "We're a gift store made up of different artists that set up product in our store," Wilson says.

He'll also have a tent on the avenue and about 30 vendors will set up tents in his parking lot. "We just get a tremendous amount of customers," Wilson says. "They'll remember us and they'll come back to see us."

This year the 4th Avenue Spring Street Fair is especially important to shop owners because they say it's a chance to bounce back from months of low foot traffic during modern streetcar construction. "That was just a challenging period," Cota says. "It was from July until December and it was like ugh!"

But with the start of spring and 300,000 plus customers hitting the avenue this weekend, things are looking up. "It's going to be a lot of fun and weather will be a good factor for good business," Wilson says.

The street fair runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10am until 6pm.

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