By Sam Dietrich

Dillsboro’s Spring Fling Art & Craft Walk is set to offer the public a chance to learn and celebrate the value of local handmade crafts from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday.

“We thought about having a little festival in May ... when we don’t have any other large festivals,” said Connie Hogan, shop owner of Tunnel Mountain Crafts and one of the organizers of the Spring Fling.

The Spring Fling has been around for “about two to three years,” along with the upcoming Fall Fling in September.

The idea of the Spring Fling Art & Craft Walk originated with David Marker, president of the Dillsboro Merchant’s Association, Hogan said.

“(David) said ‘Let’s feature hand-made items in the shop and invite local artists to sit outside in front of the businesses, instead of closing the streets and making it a full-blown festival,’” she said. “So, it truly is an Art and Craft walk.” 

At the Spring Fling, many downtown shops will feature artists and their handmade crafts.

At Hogan’s shop, Tunnel Mountain Crafts, Kim Singh will display her acrylic fluids and succulents. At Dogwood Crafters, Deborah Freedman will paint barn quilts and Debbie and Bill Douglas will weave baskets. Barbara Woodall, a published author, will sell her books at The Corn Crib.

Down at Maddie’s on Main, Karen Smyrl will demonstrate how to make and assemble baked pieces of her polymer clay jewelry.

Down the road on Webster Street Robert Robinette, acrylic and watercolor artist, will paint alongside jewelry maker Pamela Judson.

Across the street, Mandie Knight will display her soaps, lotions, lip balm and more, all made from local beeswax.

There will be musical entertainment on Cannon’s Deck. Twelfth Fret, a husband-and-wife acoustic duo, will perform at 1 p.m., and We Three Swing, a jazz music trio, will perform at 2 p.m.

Hogan said that last year’s Spring Fling did very well, and she hopes that the people that come to the event this year will return to Dillsboro again.

“We are highlighting locally handmade arts and crafts in the shops,” Hogan said, “so that they know that Dillsboro is a town of all handmade crafters.”

Unlike last year, there will be no COVID-19 protocols or hand sanitizer stations.

Restaurants and Innovation Brewing will be open. Hogan also said that about 20 local vendors will be available, and a food truck will be in front of the brewery. She added that people can park across from town hall and behind Foragers Canteen since the streets will not be closed.

For more information about the Spring Fling Art & Craft Walk, visit www.discoverjacksonnc.com/calendar-event/spring-fling-art-craft-walk/.