October 22, 2019

Victorian Art Fair to celebrate 40 years


WEST BRANCH — A longtime area tradition will be celebrating its 40th anniversary this year when the West Branch Creative Arts Association’s Victorian Art Fair returns to Irons Park Aug. 10-11.

Fair Chairman Marcia Young said the fair was created at a time when many other communities were holding similar events to showcase their local arts and crafts, but West Branch’s fair became its own special brand, incorporating fun for the whole family.

“The fair was started 40 years ago as a venue for our local arts and craftsmen to showcase their handmade items,” she said. “Many of the surrounding communities were already doing these fairs, so we felt it was time that we did one as well. We also wanted to create a fair that was different from the others. We incorporated entertainment and games for the kids into our fair. In essence, we created an event that the whole family can attend and find something to do along with checking out the local arts and crafts.”

Over the years the fair continued to expand, with more exhibitors wishing to participate, Young said. This year’s fair features 165 exhibitors from the local area and around the state, both new and returning. A wide variety of items will be for sale, including outdoor yard art, jewelry, ceramics, clothing, pet items, metal art and much more.

“It is always fun to see what our exhibitors bring to sell,” Young said. “It’s a great time to pick up unusual gifts.”

Kids activities on Saturday include the Teddy Bear Picnic at 10:30 a.m., frog-racing contest at 1 p.m., cherry seed-spitting contest at 2 p.m. and boat race at 3 p.m. On Sunday there will be a three-legged race at noon and an ice cream-licking contest at 2 p.m.

“Many kids have fun just playing in the river to cool off,” Young said.

A few musical acts and a dance review will entertain across the two days, and attendees will be able to help support numerous local organizations by partaking in a variety of sweet and savory food.

A full schedule of events with more information can be found at www.victorianartfair.com. The fair runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

A free shuttle service to and from the fair will once again be offered all day Saturday and starting at noon Sunday. Pickup and dropoff locations include Plaza East, the old Kmart parking lot and downtown West Branch at the light and in front of the Fourth Street Gallery and Gift Shop.

“Our committee works very hard each year to create a fun-filled art fair the whole family can enjoy in our beautiful Irons Park,” Young said.


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