July 8, 2008

Berea Craft Festival to Feature More Than 115 Artists

By Bryan Marshall, Richmond Register, Ky.

Jul. 8--BEREA -- More than 115 artists from 15 states will showcase their work this weekend during the 27th Berea Craft Festival at Indian Fort Theater.

The festival will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday with admission set at $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and free for children 12 and younger.

"It's a family event and a wonderful day out," said Sandy Chowning, festival coordinator.

"We always have new people," she said. "Every year, there is between 30 and 40 new craftspeople. We also encourage all of our artists who are returning to bring new work with them. It always has a fresh look to keep it exciting."

More than 30 craft categories will be on display, including furniture, ceramics, glass, jewelry, metal, woodturning, mosaics, sculptures, baskets and designer clothing.

Craft demonstrations will include raku pottery firing, hammock weaving, silversmithing, fountain sculpting, dollmaking, glass lampworking, carving, chairmaking and wooden stamp art for children.

"You get a wonderful variety," Chowning said. "But, even in each individual category, there is all different kinds of things. One of the new exhibitors is a gal from Pennsylvania who takes wool and carves it and combs it to get it silky smooth. Then, she does all sorts of animals and Santas by wrapping it around a wire."

"This year, we even have some food products that are a lot of fun," she said. "We have some salsas, barbecue sauces, some homemade pull candy. There is a lady from Ohio who does homemade dog treats. So, you can even pick something up for Fido while you're there."

To keep visitors entertained, strolling performances also will conducted all weekend throughout Indian Fort Theater, including Berea singer Mitch Barrett, Pennsylvania quartet Peach Pie Jazz, central Kentucky acoustical country blues band Couch Crickets, Berea Festival Dancers and Bob Nickerson, "The Jock-ular Juggler," who specializes in juggling sporting goods.

"Indian Fort Theater is just a magical setting," Chowning said. "It's right in the middle of the Berea College forest. People enjoy that."

The craft festival is not the only festivity residents and out-of-towners can enjoy this weekend in Berea, she said.

Berea Arena Theater will present the interactive play "Night of Jan. 16" at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee. Tickets are $8 and can be reserved by calling 986-9039.

On Friday, Berea Arts Council also will be opening its "Quilts with a Kick" exhibit, which will run through Aug. 29.

Musicians also can bring their instrument and join in on Jammin' on the Porch from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday on the Cabin Porch in Old Town. Father and daughter duo Donna and Lewis Lamb will host the event.

"If you want to do the tourist thing on a gallon or two of gas, you can do it here," Chowning said.

"We're hoping to have anywhere from 8,000 to 9,000 visitors," she said about the craft festival. "We're asking the locals to come out and support us even more this year because with the gas prices we just don't know what to expect from people who are farther away."

For details about the 27th Berea Craft Festival, go to www.bereacraftfestival.com.

Bryan Marshall can be reached at [email protected] or 624-6691.


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