July 17, 2008

60 Artisans at Grand Lake Stream Festival


GRAND LAKE STREAM - Good food and music are among the highlights of the 14th annual Grand Lake Stream Folk Art Festival.

The festival, opening at 10 a.m., will be July 26-27.

Come early and stay the day, organizer Bill Shamel said Wednesday. There will be artists and artisans, food, music and exhibits where you can learn something.

Organizers of the festival have held the line on cost. Admission is $5 for one day, $8 for both, the same as last year's fees.

The festival is located in an open field across from the Grand Lake Stream town office.

This year more than 60 artisans will gather under large, white tents for one of the biggest folk festivals Down East. Items offered for sale include handmade musical instruments, twig furniture, quilts, folk painting, turned bowls, dried flowers and herbs, pottery, photography, stained glass, spinning, weaving, felting, clothing, wood carvings, jewelry and birdhouses, among other crafts.

Tim Weiss of Portland will be there with his outdoor pottery items.

Back again this year is blacksmith Sid Hughes of Lubec who will handle the traditional ironworks. "He always puts on a good show," Shamel said.

There will be new exhibits in the canoe tent this year. "There will be an exhibit on old logging tools and some video on some old river drives," he said. That exhibit is being put together by Ed McGrath and Jon Shamel of Grand Lake Stream. There also will be canoe exhibitions and a fly-tying demonstration for fly fishermen.

Shamel guarantees great weather, although tents will be up in case the weather doesn't cooperate.

More than 4,000 visitors streamed through the gates last year. Shamel said they expect that many this year.

Although gas prices are high, Shamel said, Grand Lake Stream is prospering. "Around Grand Lake Stream gas prices and the economy hasn't affected the sport fishing and the tourist base," he said.

There will be more seating at the food tent. Food will include lamb sausage as well as organic foods and blueberry ice cream sundaes.

Once again, live music will be featured this year.

Mark Tipton will be playing jazz and country music with a group from Portland. Singer-guitarist Jim Gallant also will perform. The Muellers and their family string band will play bluegrass and the ukulele band from the University of Maine at Machias will perform.

An open jam session will be held Sunday morning.

Another popular tent is the antique and heirloom quilt tent. Sue Harvey and Sandy Boobar of Pine Tree Country Quilts in Lee made this year's quilt. It will be raffled off and the proceeds will benefit the festival.

The Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge, Downeast Lakes Land Trust, the Maine Fiber Arts and the Maine Warden Service will present exhibits.

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