Dillsboro’s Front Street closes to cars and comes alive with crafts when the Front Street Arts and Crafts Show opens at 10 a.m. Saturday. The store-lined street will be filled with arts and crafts from local artisans, festival colors and aromas, and the sounds of guitars, banjos and bass until 4 p.m.
“We’ll have the whole length of Front Street full of arts and crafts tents,” said David Marker, a festival organizer and owner of Monkey Toes, a gift shop on Front Street.
Over 50 vendors will offer pottery, glass, candles, jewelry, needle crafts, birdhouses, soaps, gourds, photography, metal art, fiber art and visual arts: oil painting, pen and ink drawings, pastel prints and more.
The town’s shops and restaurants will all be open, Marker said.
“We’re going to have a food court on Church Street,” Marker said. “There will be a food truck, a lemonade stand, an Italian ice server and we’re going to have kettle corn. We’ll have funnel cakes, too. I love those things.”
The entertainment stage, located at the end of Church Street, is slated to host four local acts.
At 11 a.m., the J. Creek Cloggers, of Haywood County, will start off the day.
At noon, the Junior Appalachian Musicians take the stage. Members of JAM are young children who attend an afterschool program in Jackson County to learn how to play various instruments.
At 1 p.m., Twelfth Fret, an acoustic duo with Craig Neidlinger on guitar and Kim Neidlinger on upright bass, will play.
At 2 p.m., the duo Acoustic Envy takes the spotlight. Scott McCracken is a Western North Carolina native accompanied by Susie Copeland with vocals and percussion.
Parking is available at Monteith Park, with shuttles bringing attendees to Dillsboro proper for $2 round trip.
The Great Smoky Mountain Railroad train will arrive at 2:15 p.m. and stay for about an hour and a half, Marker said.
Dogs on leash are welcome.
Brenda Anders of Dogwood Crafters, another organizer of the festival, said a woodworker from Tennessee is one of the artisans she looks forward to seeing.
“Benny Hatcher is a self-taught woodworker,” she said. “He’s a mountain man who turns bowls and plates on a lathe. When he cuts wood, he says he sees things in it, and I guess that’s what makes him an artist.”
Jewelry is always a big seller at the festival, and this year a silversmith is coming.
“She doesn’t do beads, she’s a silversmith and makes beautiful designs,” Anders said. “For the men, we have a fly rod maker. It’ll be down on the end of the street where they can try them out without catching someone in the head.”
The emphasis is on local, she said.
“What I like about this festival, is that these are mostly mountain crafters,” Anders said. “They all live in our area and this supplements their income. Most of them are returning crafters, though I try to get at least three to four new people every year.”
For more information about the festival, contact Anders at 506-8331 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.