Visitors from far and near came to Rock Island State Park over the weekend to enjoy the park, its activities and the 39th annual Fall Festival and Craft Fair. The event is sponsored by the Rock Island Lions Club and is staged in the Sand Bar area of the park.
Over 45 talented artisans showcased their wares in booths and displays around the area. Everything from handcrafted jewelry to rustic home décor was available for shoppers.
Young entrepreneur Jewel Tollison was briskly selling her custom items made from duct tape. Not just your ordinary duct tape, but designer colors and uniquely decorated duct tape.
The 13-year-old started her business after making a wallet, and realized she enjoyed the process. She now makes and sells bows, key chains, bracelets, purses and even made a pillow.
She and mother, Pam, were exhibiting at the fair for their first time, and were well pleased with their sales. Jewel was quick to say she enjoyed making the wallets, but enjoyed the money she made from it more.
Carthage resident Deanna Shoulders was also having a good first visit to the show. She was showcasing her handcrafted embossed metal jewelry.
“It has been a great day for me,” said Shoulders. “I enjoy meeting people and sharing my artwork. This actually provides me with a good outlet from my job in the emergency room.”
People didn’t leave hungry, as they could enjoy barbecue, hamburgers, hot dogs, even beans and cornbread. The sweet tooth was satisfied with shaved ice in delicious flavors, lemonade, fried pies, and assorted homemade desserts.
Guests could even sample assorted sauces and chips from the Moonshine Sauce Company booth. The Nashville-based company featured hot mustard, barbecue sauce, wing shine sauce and Carolina sauce, all using moonshine.
Park naturalist Dava Lundquist and a host of assistants manned an area dedicated to state park activities and local wildlife.
They helped youngsters construct corn husk dolls and shoot a dart gun at a designated target.
The Rock Island Lions Club holds this show annually as a way to raise funds to support its many projects benefiting the community. They are always seeking new members, and anyone interested is welcome to attend a meeting. They meet the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. at the Rock Island Community Center.