Not your momma’s craft fair

Arts and Crafts area welcomes new vendors, old favorites

Anna Small tries on some of the offerings at the 2007 Fall Festival booths.

Anna Small tries on some of the offerings at the 2007 Fall Festival booths.

For three days from Friday to Sunday, downtown Maryville will be transformed into an art and crafts paradise.

Artisans from throughout the region and country will fill tents with their wares for members of the public to buy.

The Arts and Crafts portion of the Foothills Fall Festival is free and doesn’t require the ticket needed to get into the Entertainment area in the Theater section of the Greenbelt. There’s plenty to see and do along the stretch of Broadway from Cates Street near Tomato Head restaurant all the way to Founders’ Park near College Street.

The Arts and Crafts area is open for business from 12 to 6 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 12 to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Carolyn Forster, committee chair for the crafts portion of the festival, says there’s more than just crafts as the festival enters its ninth year. “One thing is for sure, it is surely not just crafts anymore. We’ve got a whole festival downtown that has plenty for every single person to have something to do, totally free,” she said.

Forster said there’s still full-face painting. Folks can get their portraits done and they can also have hands-on participation with authentic heritage crafters and who then allow them to take something home from the experience.

A clown troupe will perform on the steps of Dr. Jack Bowman’s dentist office at 201 E. Broadway Ave. There will be acoustic music in front of the old Roy’s Record Shop at 128 W. Broadway Ave.

Fairy Tale Photography with Laura Owens will delight youngsters as they get their picture made wearing fairy costumes and using a beautiful fall scene with a reflecting pool. Owens then digitally adds an orb and that makes it a unique picture they can take home, she said.

Forster said almost one-third of vendors are new this year to the Arts and Crafts area. There will be new artists from eight different states. “I think everyone is going to be pleased with the quality they’re going to find this year,” she said.

Forster said the festival has doubled the number of food vendors in the crafts area. Vendors like Beef Jerky Outlet, Lenny’s Subs and Sweet Celebrations will be on hand as will vendors selling hot dogs, hamburgers, kettle corn and funnel cakes. “We’re going to have a wonderful celebration of food downtown,” she said.

Forster said that for the second year the festival’s Arts and Crafts area is partnering with area Garden Clubs to decorate the Arts and Crafts area. Forster praised Lisa Phipps for her efforts in acting as a liaison with the Master Gardeners and the Garden clubs.

Downtown merchants can also get in on the action by paying a $25 fee and filling out a form. Forster said normally there are around seven downtown businesses who participate, but more than double that have signed up this year.

“We have about 15 businesses downtown that are participating. Lots of that is due to the Last Friday Art Walk and the excitement that has generated. People are really enjoying our downtown,” she said. “That has encouraged these folks to participate in our festival as well.”

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