By Maddy PUMILIA
People – and dogs – of all ages gathered in Montrose for a full weekend of artsy products, jazz music and an international selection of food at the 28th Annual Arts and Crafts Festival.
The usually busy Montrose Shopping Park was closed off to cars to better accommodate the more than 300 vendors in the three block area. Each vendor sold unique products ranging from artwork to jewelry, clothing to pottery.
“People enjoy seeing and possibly buying the crafts,” Dee Ovenden, a coordinator for the event, said. “There are a lot of neat vendors.”
One booth contained the art work of oceans by Clyde Owes.
“We’ve had a lot of artists come by oohing and ahhing and wishing they could paint this way,” said Stacie Dunford, who was selling Owes’ paintings.
John Pettus sold ceramic animals. He had been making pottery since 1972. People at Pettus’ booth commented about how he had very reasonable prices.
“The festival is good, because there are a lot of people,” Pettus said. On the first day of the two day festival, Pettus sold 40 of his ceramics.
Earl Castro made flower holders and fountains. His business is called Hawaiian Stoneworks.
“I do this for fun,” he said.
Some vendors who had been at the festival multiple years said that this year’s sales were slower than previous years.
Wife and husband Linda and Ron Sadon were one pair who thought business was down.
“Things have changed,” said Linda.
Ron Sadon has been making jewelry for 37 years and had been a part of the festival for 25 years. He made the jewelry at his house. The rings were the most popular piece at the festival.
Despite reports of slower sales, some of the food vendors were selling out. Two of those vendors were Joe and Denise Carbone, who made Welsh cakes, and Melissande Colton and Debra Britton, who made fudge. The Carbones are the only company west of the Mississippi that makes Welsh cakes. Colton and Britton thought they had made enough fudge for three days, and everyone seemed to love their fudge.
“I like the festival, because there’s a lot of art stuff I can do,” said Maya Torgerson, 8.
Lauren and Mary Kennedy had been coming to the festival for 20 years. They bought a clock. They really liked the band Safari Jazz, who performed at the event.
There was a petting zoo with bunnies, chickens, pig and goats. Young children could ride ponies or go on a inflatable slide.
The Montrose stores benefited financially because of the number of people on the street. One store that experienced this jump in sales was Twigs and Things, which sells things like candles and ribbons.
“It’s just a big fun outdoor event,” Said Dale Dawson, the executive director of the Montrose Shopping Park Association. Dawson estimated that between 30,000 to 40,000 people came to the festival. “It was highly successful. The weather was perfect.”
“The vendors seemed to have a good time. They commented that this was the best show ever. It’s nice to hear.”