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Arts and crafts festival is a good day trip

June 12, 2008|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

JEFFERSON COUNTY, W.Va. -- Organizers hope Father's Day activities and costly gasoline won't dampen attendance at the West Virginia's Mountain Heritage Arts & Crafts Festival, which starts Friday at Sam Michael's Park.

The three-day arts fest, set for Friday, June 13, through Sunday, June 15, draws 18,000 to 24,600 visitors, said Heather L. Morgan, executive director of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the event.

"With gas the way it is, we're hoping people will still want to take their day trips," Morgan said.

The Herald-Mail reported Tuesday that gas prices in Hagerstown hit the $4 mark, about the same as the national average. This time last year, the June average was $3.06, according to the federal Energy Information Administration.

The festival also might compete with Father's Day plans, Morgan said.

She said more children's activities -- a climbing wall and an area of Moonbounce-like inflatables -- have been added with hopes of attracting more families.

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Roughly 200 vendors are expected at the festival. A list of vendors with Web links is at the festival's Web site, www.jeffersoncounty.com/festival.

Here's a taste of what to expect:

Artwork

Visual artists, potters, glass makers and musical instrument makers. Country landscapes and depictions of wildlife are popular subjects. Local artists include watercolorist Roxanne Shields from Shepherdstown, W.Va.

Highlight: Dulcimer maker Sam Rizzetta from Inwood, W.Va. Web: SamRizzetta.com.

Household goods

Handcrafted furniture and home decor abound. Vendors, like wool rug makers Spirit Designs in Berkeley Springs, W.Va., emphasize their ability to customize products for clients.

Highlight: Charles Steven Adams, a hand-hewn bowl artisan in Martinsburg, W.Va. Web: CharlesStevenAdams.com.

Clothing

Lots of handbags and scarfs. The clothing highlights textile art -- embroidery, weaving and dyeing techniques. Jewelers work in gold, silver, and polymer clay. Handbags come in cloth and leather.

Highlight: Virginia-based artist Mary Barnes weaves textile for garments and makes books from handmade paper and cloth. Web: www.weavingarts.us.

Play things

Handcrafted and kid-friendly teddy bears and other stuffed animals, puppets and dolls.

Highlight: Mountain Craft Shop sells old-school toys that don't require batteries. Web: www.thistledewfarm.com.

Food and drink

Sample wine from six West Virginia wineries and buy bottles to take home. Food vendors will have specialty sauces, gourmet herbs, bread and jams.

Highlight: Potomac Highland Winery, near Keyser, W.Va. Web: www.potomac-highland-winery.com.




If you go ...



WHAT: West Virginia's Mountain Heritage Arts & Crafts Festival

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, June 13, through Sunday, June 15

WHERE: Sam Michael's Park, 1516 Job Corps Road, between Flowering Springs Road and Shepherdstown Pike, in Jefferson County, W.Va. Get directions at www.jeffersoncounty.com/festival, and click the "Map & Directions" link.

COST: $6 admission; $3, ages 6 to 17; free admission for ages 5 and younger.

MORE: Pets and alcohol are prohibited. Call the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, 304-725-2055,

or visit www.jeffersoncounty.com/festival.

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