ChambersFest offers array of arts, crafts and more

July 17, 2005|by BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

CHAMBERSBURG, PA - Whether it's the novelty of walking around in the middle of Chambersburg's square, watching an artist at work or shopping at 170 stands lining the street around the square, people are attracted to Celebrate the Arts! at Old Market Day.

The events are part of ChambersFest, which began Friday and continues through July 28.

On the square, artist Betsy Stempien worked on an abstract painting using acrylic paint and masking tape.

Her creation is the first in the multiartist series "On the Wall at the Gallery."

Stempien, who was not at all bothered by people stopping to watch her work, said she will come back to "tape and paint a dozen times." Her work eventually will be part of a permanent collection on the deck of the Thomas June Artisan Gallery. Stempien teaches art at Boonsboro Elementary School.

Volunteers from Central Presbyterian Church on the square handed out water and iced tea to festival-goers.


"You're a very humanitarian person," one man said when accepting an iced tea.

Reed Runk of Chambersburg, a jeweler at Kendall, Funk and Bismark, had a teepee set up across from his store on South Main Street and autographed his books nearby. Two of the books, "Stories and Articles of Eastern Native Americans" and "Long Guns and Tomahawks: Stories of Eastern Native Americans," are compilations of articles from a newsletter he writes, and the third is a novel, "The Platinum Ice Pick."

"I wasn't expecting to sell as many as I did," Runk said.

Kathy and Jay Spinks of Cascade have been making braided rugs since 1987, and sold them at ChambersFest. The rugs, which are washable, are made from nylon rug yarn, the same as wall-to-wall carpets, Kathy Spinks said.

Although there were fewer customers at their booth than last year because "everybody thought it was going to rain," she said that they did OK and will return next year.

Several businesses held sidewalk sales behind the booths set up in the streets.

Mike and Amy Gillin of Chambersburg were among those sitting on the square in front of the courthouse listening to the violin, guitar, tambourine and vocals of local trio Soleil.

The Gillins did some shopping among the vendors, "mostly looking," Mike Gillin said, and tried some Cajun chicken and pit beef, which were "very good," they said.

Anne Finucane of the Council on the Arts estimated the crowd at one-third less than last year due to the steamy weather and threat of rain.

If you go

What: ChambersFest

When: Continues through July 28

Where: Throughout Chambersburg, Pa.

Call 717-264-7101 or 717-264-6883, or go to

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