Shaffer has been coming to Vandalia for years, but he also goes to the Mountain State Arts and Craft Fair in Ripley on July 4 weekend each year.
Shaffer said that the closeness of the two events, just two weeks apart, and the late notice that he got about the changes to Vandalia made it too difficult to do both events.
Vendors were told in March that Vandalia would be split into two events, the traditional weekend plus the sesquicentennial.
But Shaffer said that was only after they'd been sent and returned the normal vendor application forms and that they were confused about which weekend they would be able to set up shop.
Although he was disappointed with the way this year's festival was handled, Shaffer hopes to be back at Vandalia next year. Still, he's worried that visitors and potential customers might not be.
"I've been doing craft fairs long enough to know that when you mess with success people will say, 'Well is it going to be a mess again this year, is it going to be right this year, or is it the same as last year?'" Shaffer said.
Shaffer also said that his sales at Vandalia have not been nearly as good as they used to be.
"We make some money, but not a lot," Shaffer said. "Over the last 10 years or so, it's gone downhill to the point to which we really go to see friends and other craftspeople."
Rumors abound that the state Division of Culture and History is trying to downsize or get rid of Vandalia. But Randall Reid-Smith, the commissioner of the Division of Culture and History, has publicly promised that Vandalia will be around as long as he is commissioner.
Proceeds from the Culture Center gift shop do not go to the Division of Culture and History. They go to the artists whose work is sold and to the Tamarack in Beckley, which promotes West Virginia arts, crafts and culture.
Reach David Gutman at david.gut...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5119.