Organizers deem Art in the Park ?a huge success?

Debbie Waggoner of Hutchinson created interest with her spinning wheel at Marion?s Art in the Park. Waggoner describes herself as a dyer, knitter and spinner. Marion?s 35th annual Art in the Park Saturday was considered another huge success by organizers as thousands of people converged in Central Park.

Judy Christiansen, one of two coordinators, said they were fortunate about many things.

?The crowds were good all day and we couldn?t have asked for any better weather,? she said. ?You will never find anything like this any place else.?

Christiansen said her husband, Jim, was involved with the Hillsboro Arts and Crafts Fair the same day.

As a Lions Club member, she said, he was among the volunteers washing 700 potatoes, then frying them Saturday at the group?s booth.

?We are put to work in both places,? she said.

While many visitors at Marion?s event were from the area, most were from other locations in Kansas and neighboring states.

Melinda Huball of Topeka said for the past couple of years she went to the Hillsboro event.

?Every year I would pass by here and this year decided to stop,? she said, adding she was glad she did.

One of the newer exhibitors, Deb Waggoner of Hutchinson, who sells her product year-round, attracted attention with her Lou?t spinning wheel.

Waggoner said she is a dyer, knitter and spinner.

?I put color on most things,? she said. ?I will buy white silk scarves and dye them, and then on many other things I will use bits of handspun yarn (to complete a project).?

In addition to talking with visitors and petting the four-legged friends accompanying them, she said she likes sitting at her spinning wheel.

Even though she said she has a basic machine, she?s discovered that while many women look at her products, the men like evaluating the mechanics of the wheel.

Waggoner said she was introduced to spinning in her 20s, but put it away while she raised her children.

?I picked it up again about five years ago, and it?s like riding a bike?you don?t forget,? she said. ?I have been a textile person forever.?

As for sales on Saturday, Waggoner said, ?business is good.?

Christiansen said about 130 exhibitors were at this year?s event. Local groups offered a wide assortment of foods and drinks.

Margo Yates, Marion Chamber of Commerce secretary and also coordinator of the event, said everything went well.

?We had some of the best helpers I can ever remember,? she said. ?We can?t make these events happen without volunteer help, so we thank everyone who lended a hand any way they could.?

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