The nationally recognized show is celebrating its 29th anniversary, and has now been ranked one of the top 50 best arts and craft shows in the country. How lucky are we that it occurs right here in Lancaster county?
The show I’m speaking of is the Heart of Lancaster Arts and Craft Show which happens once a year, always on Labor Day weekend at Roots Market. This year, the show will happen on September 3 and 4 from 10am to 4pm each day.
Originally, 29 years ago, the show began with just 83 vendors and has now grown to 200 authentic artisans and craftsmen. “The diversity of talent is what I love about the show,” Marilyn Hobday says. Marilyn runs the entire event from start to finish, along with some very talented artist judges and several volunteers. It takes all year long to plan for the next one.
The one aspect which sets the Heart of Lancaster Arts and Craft Show is the fact that it accepts and showcases not just nationally renowned artisans, but local artists as well. The diverse style of craftsmen ranges from traditional, contemporary, to primitive, and everything in between. Every single exhibitor must make their own work and it must be made in the United States.
At the 2016 show, there will be 50 demonstrations going on all weekend long. This allows the thousands of attendees to be educated, entertained, and inspired while perusing the grounds.
There is a gentleman from Philadelphia who allows attendees for just $30 to create their own silk scarf. He brings water troughs with combed paint on the surface of the water. Paying attendees then receive a blank white scarf which you dip into the water, creating your very own piece of art to take home.
There will be two glassblowers, one from Corning, New York and one from Stiegel Glassworks in Manheim. “They don’t normally do shows, but they will be coming to ours!” Marilyn says of Stiegel Glassworks.
This year’s show will also feature a blacksmith, a broom maker, talented 2-D painters, potters, 20 different jewelers, leatherworkers, and even a woman who makes carpet bags. There is a man who makes clay firepits who will exhibit his fine work as well. Three talented furniture makers will be vending their products which vary from traditional to a more rustic approach. There will be weavers, spinners, gourd makers. There will even be live music and 20 food vendors so you can stay all day.
If you want to attend the event, it is free of charge, all weekend long. And, on top of that, whatever is leftover in the budget at the end gets donated to a local charity.
“We’ve worked incredibly hard to get to this point,” Marilyn says. “We started small, and we continue to climb the ladder of success.”