Carbondale Spring FEST Vendor Fair provides businesses opportunities to grow, connect


CARBONDALE, Ill. (KBSI) – Carbondale Spring FEST Co-Coordinator Marci Cascio-Hale takes great pride in helping local businesses. 

“I love it because these are individuals who need to put food on the table, and so I’m helping to build their business so that they can take care of their families, put food on the table, send kids to college,” she said.

And this weekend’s vendor fair allowed businesses to do just that: get the word out about their business and establish their footprint in Carbondale. 

One business that benefits from this fair is So ILL Thrift Co., a pop-up thrift store alternative founded by Southern Illinois native Kiley Wagner. 

“It’s my closet, you’re just walking into it,” Wagner said.

Wagner turned her passion into a business when she started this “thrift store on wheels” in September 2022.

“I’ve been doing this my whole life, and I’ve always loved vintage and antique stuff, so it’s pretty much not even a job or a business, really,” she said.

Wagner said events like this one have provided her with countless new opportunities. 

“It means a lot,” she said. “These are my stomping grounds; I grew up here. It’s amazing. I’m meeting more people every day. I’m getting introduced to new businesses, and it’s been amazing.” 

Lex Dietz, Program Director for Sit Service Dogs, said this fair serves several purposes for their two- and four-legged friends alike. 

“This helps us actually get our dogs out and see all the stuff that they’re going to see when they’re community outreach dogs, and it, at the same time, has people who can come up and pet and visit with dogs and maybe perk up their day a little bit,” she said.

Or you could visit with therapy pig Piggy Smalls. 

“She is so full of carrots, I don’t think she can breathe,” Dietz said.

Whatever your reason for visiting the Carbondale Spring Fest Vendor Fair or other similar events, you can help support the businesses that serve your hometown.

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