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Rain doesn't hamper Frederick Festival of the Arts

June 08, 2003|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

Saturday's rainstorm didn't stop the 10th Annual Frederick Festival of the Arts at Carroll Creek Park. In fact, it made some participants happier, said Jasmine Sneed, the festival's executive director.

"There is a feeling of camaraderie. We are in this together," she said.

An estimated 20,000 to 23,000 people normally attend the two-day event that started Saturday and this year organizers are expecting that number again despite the rain, she said.

People were let in free of charge Saturday morning because of the weather, she said.

"The people who made the effort to get out deserve something," she said.

They expect more people to come today since the weather is forecast to be nicer, she said.

Vendors and concerts were under canopies and tents. Many festival attendees and participants were carrying umbrellas around noon Saturday while a booth with jackets for sale attracted interest. Some joked it should be moved to the festival entrance.

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Louise and Elliott Allentuck of Rockville, Md., said they considered skipping the event due to the weather but decided to come after all - for the third year in a row. They were glad they did, Louise Allentuck said.

"It really is not bad, with the tents," she said. "It is festive and fun."

Both said they are drawn to return each year by the crafts sold by more than 120 artisans.

Elliott Allentuck said he particularly likes to look at the photographs on sale which sometimes prompt ideas for some of his own photography work.

The festival includes juried artisan exhibitions, live theatrical and musical performances and literary events along with a wide range of vendors selling everything from paintings and jewelry to crabcakes and coffee.

Ann Roberts, manager of the Frederick Pottery School, said a booth allowing the public to use a pound of clay to try to make something useful out of it was a hit.

She said water plays an important role in the work, which she described as being akin to a magic show.

"We are not going to melt away," she said. "Everyone has been so upbeat. It has been a ball."

The booth lets some know that the business exists while for others it rekindled an interest in pottery, she said.

April Reardon, owner of the Velvet Lounge clothing store in Frederick, helped run a booth promoting downtown Frederick. The booth encouraged people attending the festival to stay in the area and try some of the regional businesses, she said.

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