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Archive for Wednesday, September 15, 1999

CRAFTS FESTIVAL DRAWS THRONG

September 15, 1999

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An estimated 6,000 people turned out for the 20th annual Fall Arts and Crafts Festival in South Park on Sunday, an organizer said.

When the skies cleared Sunday, vendors and organizers put away their worries that the annual Fall Arts and Crafts Festival would be canceled a second year in a row.

Indeed, people came out in droves to look at crafts, hear some music and grab a bite to eat at the festival in Lawrence's South Park.

"It was raining when we left Overland Park this morning, and when we got to Lawrence we just started yelling in the car, 'Yes, no rain,'" Michelle Avery, who was selling jewelry at the festival, said Sunday afternoon.

"It turned out to be a great day, and it's been a great show," she said.

The 20th annual festival, sponsored by the Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department, drew an estimated 6,000 people, said Duane Peterson, special events director for parks and recreation.

"It's a real family-oriented festival," he said. "It's going real well."

David Grether of Lawrence was looking at various booths near the gazebo, where costumed dancers spun and kicked to Mexican music.

"My neighbor has a booth here, plus if you're a Lawrencian, this is the place to be," Grether said. "It just makes Lawrence seem like a small community. Plus it's a great day to be out, instead of watching TV."

A total of 94 arts and crafts, music and food vendors attended this year's festival, Peterson said.

Evelyn Karney, who lives south of town, bought a piece of rustic yard art.

"I like to garden, and I've been looking to get some topiary," she said. "I like all of the different ranges of art, from the folk art to the paintings.

"And I like the food."

Denise Copp and her 7-year-old daughter, Madison, were looking for holiday items.

"We come here every year, and mom likes to do crafts," Denise Copp said.

Asked what she liked about it, her daughter said, "Yes."

-- Michael Dekker's phone message number is 832-7187. His e-mail address is mdekker@ljworld.com.

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