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Yearly tradition gets new twist
Craft fair to fairgrounds.jpg
Vendors will be located around the arena and under the grandstands themselves next weekend for the 50th annual Warren County Arts and Crafts Fair. The show will be held this year at the fairgrounds due to Civic Center expansion.

The 2019 Warren County Arts and Crafts Fair is moving to an earlier date and to the fairgrounds for its 50th anniversary of celebrating local and regional arts, crafts and homemade goods. 

The annual holiday event has been sponsored by Homeland Community Bank for the past 11 years and held at its familiar spot of McMinnville Civic Center. But with Civic Center renovation currently underway, the fairgrounds will be the location for the two days of festivities this coming Friday, Sept. 27 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday, Sept. 28 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“This is our first year at the fairgrounds, and everyone seems really excited about the outdoor show,” says Cindy Rogers, marketing director for Homeland Community Bank. “Several arts and crafts festivals are held outdoors so many people are looking forward to this one.”

Over 100 booths will feature unique, original works including woodworking, jewelry, basket weaving, pottery, crafted furniture, stained glass, art work, porcelain, knives, home décor, Christmas décor, baked goods and many other items.

The booths and vendors will be set up inside and outside the grandstand area. The blacksmith shop in Fairfield Village will be open and will have live blacksmith and chainsaw carving demonstrations. Food vendors will be on site. One of these vendors is Smartt Baptist Church, which will donate all of the proceeds from its food sales to an orphanage in Jamaica.

The band Four on the Floor will be performing classic rock and pop music for all ages on the grandstand stage Friday night at 5:30 p.m.

“There will be something for everyone. We are very blessed in our area, both regionally and locally, to have very talented artists, crafters and more,” said Rogers. “If you’re looking for that unique gift, even for Christmas, it’s not too early. A lot of fall décor will also be available which we haven’t had in the past due to the event being in November. There will be a mixture of both seasonal items and I think people will be pleasantly surprised.”

The craft fair is traditionally held the weekend before Thanksgiving at the Civic Center, serving as a perfect time to usher in holiday cheer, but with no other indoor venue capable of holding over 100 vendors, Rogers said the decision was made to move the show outdoors, which also required the date to be moved from mid-November to September for weather concerns. To Rogers’ knowledge, this is the first time the event will be held outside. 

“We are able to have a performer, open the blacksmith shop for live demonstrations and bring in some unique vendors we haven’t had before,” said Rogers. “We have a gentleman doing live chainsaw carving on site, as well as taking custom orders. These are some things we’re doing to make the 50th anniversary special and take advantage of the outside space.”

The Warren County Arts and Crafts Fair is free and open to the public. Homeland Community Bank will be giving away 250 shopping bags each day to the first 250 attendees, as well as a $500 cash prize at the end of the show for those who register. 

“Our vendors bring such a following with them, the show brings a following itself, so we look forward to visiting with everyone, and of course, enjoying this time with our community,” said Rogers.