Turnout for the city's 16th annual Fall Arts and Crafts Festival on Sunday may have been the largest ever, an organizer says.
Visitors and vendors relished Sunday's relatively perfect weather, picking up trinkets and a bite to eat or enjoying a song during the city's annual Fall Arts and Crafts Festival downtown.
"The weather is gorgeous. You couldn't ask for a better day," said Barbara Shelton, one of about 160 vendors for the 16th annual event.
She and her husband, Jim, were selling cloth and beaded Christmas ornaments. It was the Lawrence couple's first stint as vendors at the event.
"We're doing pretty well," Jim said while adjusting a nearby radio tuned to the Kansas City Chiefs broadcast.
In addition to checking out the ornaments, several people asked about the football score.
"I ought to charge 10 cents for Chiefs updates," he joked.
Later, the Sheltons placed a sheet of paper on their table with a message that read, "Chiefs win, 20-17, overtime."
The crowd for the Fall Arts and Crafts Festival was bigger than ever, said Duane Peterson, special events superintendent for the Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department.
"We usually have 8,000 to 10,000," he said. "I think we broke that today."
Vendors selling wood carvings, paintings, bird houses, dried flower arrangements, stuffed animals, clothes, photographs, stained glass and jewelry came from as far away as Colorado, Ohio and Texas.
In addition, the number of food vendors went up from 13 last year to 21 this year.
That pleased Susan Allen of Lawrence, who carried a bag full of items she had bought.
"I like the music and the food," she said. "I come to all these things."
Five bands performed throughout the day. Several people sat in the grass, soaking up the sun and the music.
Other special events included a "Dragon Moon Walk," a children's train ride and a wading pool.
There was no need for the latter, however.
"Because we had such cool weather this weekend," Peterson said, "we didn't need the wading pool.
"We're real pleased with the turnout," he said. "We're gearing it more toward the family ... that's what it's all about."