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Updated: 02/02/2017 08:30:03AM

51st Arts, Crafts Country Fair

... the place to be this weekend

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A flock of metal sculpture birds were a hit with visitors at a past Arts & Crafts Country Fair. Musicians entertain from the gazebo, too.

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Ketra Wanamaker took two years to create her People's Choice and Best of Show award-winning entry.

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Fantastic photos submitted for judging at a recent Arts and Crafts Country Fair reflect the talent of area residents.

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Noon Rotarian Bruce Stratton fries one of the nearly 1,000 funnel cakes club members made and sold at last year's Arts and Crafts Country Fair.

Tom Meisenheimer/Highlands Sun

Dale LaoHacz's mastery of wood was awarded People's Choice, Best of Show and Best of Class ribbons.


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LAKE PLACID –– The 51st annual Lake Placid Arts and Crafts Country Fair will be the place to be Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 4-5.

More than 100 arts and crafts vendors from across the southeast will fill DeVane Park, along with about a dozen local nonprofit food vendors. And, all the while, amateur and professional artists and crafters will exhibit their talents for judging at nearby Lake Placid Elementary School.

DeVane Park will be transformed into a sea of colors, sights, sounds and tastes. Entertainment will be featured from the gazebo in the center of the park both days. With cool, sunny weather in the forecast, record crowds are anticipated.

Many of the 100-plus vendors displaying their wares in DeVane Park accept credit cards. There are gems to take home for everyone. There will be metal yard art, nautical gifts, soaps, quilts and even pet costumes. Don’t miss the fudge, sauces and honey.

Pottery art, leather handbags, jewelry, birdfeeders, hats and wood carvings will make it hard to decide what treasure to purchase. And you do not have to make a purchase at all. It’s just two days of fun to admire the creativity of area artists.

Arts and crafts vendors will show the unique, the unusual and, of course, fine art, too.

The smell of food will entice taste buds, making it hard to decide what to try first. Rotarians will offer funnel cakes and the Ladies of the Elks will return with strawberry shortcake. Those will make great desserts after sampling fried fish, ribs, spaghetti, brats, crab cakes, taco salad, kabobs, chili dogs from booths staffed by Elks, Jaycees, Lions, Masons, Women’s Club, Athletic Association and many church groups.

In the mood for fresh vegetables? A broad selection of veggies is offered every year.

But the crown jewel of the Country Fair remains the exhibit areas at Lake Placid Elementary School. The cafeteria will be filled with needlecrafts, quilts, photography, paintings, wood carvings and the efforts of the region’s best cooks. And that’s just a sampling.

The school’s media center will showcase the talent of local schoolchildren from kindergarten to high school ages. And, along the main corridor of the school, artists and crafters will demonstrate their skill.

Check out the ribbons attached to many items announcing the winning entries. Judges work into the night Friday to complete their chore and recognize winners. Visitors can get in on the fun Saturday when the first 1,000 visitors at the elementary school can cast ballots in People’s Choice voting.

Shuttle vans will take festival fans round-trip from DeVane Park to Lake Placid Elementary School. The more hearty can walk the short distance.

Activities will open Saturday at 9 a.m. when the Rev. Ray Cameron of First Presbyterian Church opens festivities with a prayer, followed by a welcome by Mayor John Holbrook. Jack Fernandez, a Lake Placid high school senior will sing the national anthem and the Lake Placid High School JROTC will present colors.

Saturday’s stage schedule from the gazebo will open at 10:30 a.m. with the Mountain Dew Cloggers; followed at 11:30 a.m. by singer Marti Capodiferro. Tropic, a guitar and flute duo, will be onstage at 1 p.m. and ribbons and cash awards for professionals and amateurs from Country Fair judging will be handed out at 3 p.m.

Sunday’s entertainment line-up begins at 11:30 a.m. with Christ Risen, a dance group from Simply Redeemed Church. Lake Placid Ballroom Dancers will demonstrate dance steps at noon; followed at 1 p.m. by The Prince and the Pauper. Rounding out the day will be the 2 p.m. presentation of student and People’s Choice awards.

The Lake Placid Arts and Crafts Country Fair boasts a 51-year tradition that brings together longtime residents, newcomers and weekend visitors. Don’t miss it.