300 artists, vendors expected for Amish Acres Arts & Crafts Festival
Posted: 07/30/2013 at 1:20 pm
By: Truth Staff
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Kate Jones talks to Marcie TerBush at the 50th annual Amish Acres Arts & Crafts Festival on Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012 in Nappanee, Ind. The 2013 festival will be Aug. 1-4, 2013. (Truth Photo By Evey Wilson)
Ann and Joe Schopmeyer look at art at the 50th annual Amish Acres Arts & Crafts Festival on Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012 in Nappanee, Ind. The 2013 festival will be Aug. 1-4, 2013. (Truth Photo By Evey Wilson)
After remembering to put on his glasses mid-act, Chris Camp (right), “The Whip Guy,” gives a thumbs up to audience member Chris Cuellar, 14, before continuing to perform a trick where Camp uses his whip to strike a flower Cuellar holds out in his hand at the Amish Acres Arts & Crafts Festival in Nappanee on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011. The 2013 festival will be Aug. 1-4, 2013. (Truth Photo By Elizabeth Frantz)
Now, 51 years after its founding by Richard Pletcher, the Pletcher family continues to produce the festival, with Pletcher acting as chairman for this year’s festival and Jennifer Pletcher Wysong serving as festival director. This year’s theme, “Proud as a Peacock’s Plumage: The Colorful World of Art,” will be reflected by a painted apple sculpture featuring a peacock in full plumage. The apple promotes Amish Acres historic Kuhn’s Apple Cider Mill.
Those in attendance can expect entertainment from barbershop quartets, folk singers, square dancers, strolling musicians, country and bluegrass music, line dancers, cloggers, marionettes, a medicine show, whip cracker, a magician, clowns and story tellers. Those interested in seeing a live Broadway musical theater production can also purchase tickets to “Plain & Fancy” and “9 to 5 the Musical” through the Amish Acres box office at 800-800-4942. Food that will be available to festivalgoers includes pork barbecue, sweet corn, black cows, fried vegetables, donkey ears, knee patches, fresh baked bread, iced sassafras tea and more.
Artists at the festival will compete for $5,000 in cash prizes, including two $1,000 Best of Show awards. Awards will also be given to the artist with the best booth presentation as voted on by visitors. Visitor giveaways this year include theater and overnight getaway packages, wagon rides, guided tours and documentary films. Demonstrations for participants will involve quilting, weaving, broom-making, lye soap making, wood carving, silversmithing, rug hooking and sculpting.
New this year is recycled metal art from Boaz by Elisha DuBois, hand-painted glass pieces by Shipshewana native Cynthia Higgins, and antlers and wood creations from Glen Eilders. Artists who have been with the festival more than 20 years include Joanne and John Foley, Delores Quint, Vincent Fleming, Larry Johnson and Pam Wayne Shaeffer.
The Nappanee Countryside Shoppes Pavilion will showcase handmade goods and retailers representing more than 250 cottage industries surrounding Nappanee, many owned by Amish and Mennonite families. The pavilion now includes Rentown Store, Homestead Furniture, Kountry Cabinets and Burlington Bike Shop. Best of Show from festivals past are permanently on display in the new Arts & Crafts Best of Show Museum, in the Barn Loft Wine Room of Amish Acres Restaurant.
Because of the festival’s half-century run, a key to the city of Nappanee will be presented by Mayor Larry Thompson, and the festival will also be recognized by the Nappanee Public Library and the Elkhart County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.
Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, active military personnel and students younger than 18, and free for children 12 and younger. Pre-event tickets and four-day passes can also be purchased at www.amischacres.com. Parking is free, with seven different entrances leading to various parking areas. No pets are allowed. For more information, call 773-4188 or 800-800-4942, or visit www.amishacres.com. Amish Acres is at 1600 W. Market St.