Spoons likely hit at Marion?s Art in the Park

Spoons will be one of the more popular items when visitors attend this year?s Art in the Park from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Central Park in Marion.

Judy Christiansen, one of the organizers, said there?s always a lot of jewelry vendors, but the round eating utensil has more than just one use, as crafters have discovered.

?Visitors will be seeing spoon yard lights, spoon bird baths, spoon bird holders, spoon rings, solar lights with spoons around them and spoon twirly jigs,? she said. ?I am not sure where spoon art got so popular.?

Christiansen said there are a lot of recycled items.

?One young couple, who hasn?t lived in Marion long, has a collection of old glass pane windows,? she said. ?They have put pictures behind the panes, put words on the glass and made a nice atrium for putting plants in screen or glassed-in porch to let light in.?

The fair will also include work by photographers and artists, and vendors using gourds, pumpkins and dried plants to make crafts, she said.

Other booths will have metal and iron items, handmade pottery, and refurbished trunks.

A variety of T-shirts, sweatshirts, baby clothes and other clothing items will also be available.

?We have about 130 vendors participating and many beautiful things for sale,? she said.

Fewer crafters?

Christiansen said she has been involved in craft shows for more than 25 years and doesn?t think any of them are growing.

If anything, she said, the shows are downsizing.

One reasons she cites is because that so many women are needing full-time jobs.

?Not that many younger men and women are coming into the craft field to do things because they are employed outside the home,? she said.

Seeking answers

Christiansen said people organizing craft shows need to consider adding commercial products.

?Moms making (potato chip) dips at home, but also selling commercially on the side to companies producing them,? she said.

Some of these vendors can?t get out of their home to be at a craft show, but can send someone to setup their booth.

?We have some of those,? she said.

The important thing, Christiansen said, is to keep the quality high.

Several of the booths will be selling jewelry Saturday, something the entire family can enjoy.

?We have families that make it a business,? she said. ?Dad might be retired from some other business and it?s a way to help his family get into it.?

Food

In addition to craft items, local groups and organizations will offer a variety of food.

?It will be a full food court,? she said, ?with almost all the local churches, 4-H clubs and other local groups using the show as their main money-making project for the year.?

One group, she said, sells nothing but bierocks.

?They cook the bierocks (Friday) in the Marion Elementary School kitchen, put them in roasters during the night and sell them the next day.?

Parking and more

Parking won?t be a problem for visitors who want to take the shuttle bus on either the east or west side of town.

?The shuttle will run every 15 minutes all day long,? she said.

Visitors can also be eligible for $20 gift certificates after 4 p.m., but Christiansen said they have to be present to win.

Sign up for the certificates can be done at the registration table, she said.

Special feature

Chris Meierhoff, one of the Chingawassa committee members, said this year?s Art in the Park will also feature wood carvings.

The carvings, he said, should have been auctioned off in June, but because of bad weather, the auction was cancelled.

Handcrafted by Richard Sardou with R & L Creative Carvings, 12 items will be sold. Some of the carvings include birds, a bear, fish, coyote and dolphin.

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