‘Art is not a thing; it is a way.” That quote, attributed to Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915), comes to mind when we think of the Lake Placid Arts and Crafts Country Fair, one of the premier arts and crafts venues in the southeast. Add ‘and crafts’ to the quote and you get a picture of the dedication of a team of volunteers who stage the Arts and Crafts Country Fair each year. The event has become a way of life for many of those volunteers.
From a tiny office space in the classroom area of the Caladium Arts and Crafts Cooperative in uptown Lake Placid, those dedicated workers plan all year for the two-day event that will unfold Saturday and Sunday.
It’s a labor of love for the dedicated band of willing helpers. The volunteers that make the event possible are guided by a group of dedicated committee leaders. The general chairman and publicity boss is Vann Peeples, with Carol Mills serving as park chair. Virginia Kuhl is the secretary and Patti Richards is treasurer and chair of the entertainment committee. Services coordinator is Joni Warner, children’s activities are planned by Sue Sauls, sanitary arrangements are by Joni Warner, the security coordinator is Margie Williams, and Joan Dunn handles posters and flyers. Helen Obenchain is general chairman of exhibits.
That little office where the magic of the Country Fair is organized and planned is staffed by volunteers, too. Lending their expertise is office coordinator Joan Dunn and her staff of Marianne Reason, Sue Sauls, Lynne Hendry, Virginia Kuhl, Myrna Kendall, Margaret Nipper, Linda Carr, Ashley Tanner, Laverda Alvis and Margaret Gleave.
And then there are the dozens of volunteers who pitch in where needed. You’ll see them guiding visitors, answering questions, picking up litter and whatever else is needed at DeVane Park. Plenty more will be at Lake Placid Elementary School to oversee displays of treasured art and craft pieces. Volunteers demonstrate art and craft techniques along the main corridor at LPE, allowing visitors a glimpse of the skill and patience required of their specialty. There are volunteers who drive vans to shuttle Country Fair visitors to and from parking lots and the Country Fair attractions at DeVane Park and LPE.
And, probably the least recognized, are those volunteers who stay late Saturday to renew the exhibit areas for the next day’s visitors and those who return Sunday for the thankless job of cleaning up any mess left behind.
The Lake Placid Arts and Crafts Country Fair is indeed a way of life for the many, many volunteers who have embraced the ideas of the event founders and expanded those ideas to what will be the 48th edition.
We salute the volunteers for their hard work and dedication and we encourage everyone to enjoy the fruits of that labor. The Lake Placid Arts and Crafts Country Fair is an event not to be missed. We’ll see you there.