But when Rodgers woke up early Friday morning at the Hilton Garden Inn Raleigh-Cary hotel, his plans were upended.
"I looked out the back window and my trailer was not attached to my vehicle anymore," Rodgers said.
Rodgers, who drove from Smyrna, Georgia, to Cary, had his trailer full of his artwork stolen.
"All of those months of work you know, we couldn't attend the art show because we didn't have any work or display or anything left," Rodgers said. "So we're going back home now to Smyrna, Georgia, and you know, it's a big loss for me."
The nearly six-hour drive back home on Saturday was horrible for Rodgers, who said he lost more than $10,000 worth of pottery, including all of his display equipment.
Rodgers, who won an award at the festival last year for ceramics, would have displayed his artwork at a booth for free this year.
"I was given a free booth space this year to come back," Rodgers said. "My wife came with me, we were celebrating our anniversary, 37 years this weekend, and it's just horrible to wake up and find that my trailer full of all that pottery that I had made, all handmade."
Rodgers said it takes at least 10 hours to finish one piece, which is often nature-themed with different kinds of birds or animals.
"I've made my living for 30 years doing this, this is the first time that such a thing has happened to me in 30 years of doing art festivals around the country," Rodgers said.
Rodgers said he filed a report with Cary Police, hoping the surveillance video at the hotel will lead to the person responsible.
"A white Ford F-150 pulled up to my vehicle," Rodgers said. "I'd like to get my artwork back. It's not something that somebody could just take and sell anywhere."