Bellefonte

Bellefonte Arts & Crafts Fair expands, featuring more than 90 artists

There’s a new place in Bellefonte for art and learning

Jewelry artist Elizabeth Hay has opened Art a la Carte, an artisan gift shop on South Allegheny Street in Bellefonte. Artists will also teach classes to the community in the space.
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Jewelry artist Elizabeth Hay has opened Art a la Carte, an artisan gift shop on South Allegheny Street in Bellefonte. Artists will also teach classes to the community in the space.

The Bellefonte Arts & Crafts Fair will take over downtown Bellefonte starting Friday, with an array of arts and crafts vendors, children’s activities and musical entertainment over two days.

Steve and Denise Snook are co-directors of the fair, which is now in its 36th year. The couple are co-directors this year for the first time, after Steve took over the director role in 2017 and Denise joined as assistant director last year. The couple volunteers on the fair committee with 15 other community members who, Denise says, meet and work year-round to put on the annual event.

“It’s wonderful to see how everyone can work together for the good of the community,” she said.

This year, the fair features more than 90 artists, which required an expansion of the fair, pushing it farther along Allegheny Street. In addition to returning artists, more than 40 of the artists on display are brand new to the fair, coming from all over Pennsylvania and surrounding states, and as far away as Florida.

“Each artist has their own unique form of art or craft, from woodworking, jewelry, soap, photography (or) painting, to those who make their own food products,” Denise said.

The juried arts and crafts fair requires that artists apply to be featured and meet certain requirements. All items must be handmade and original, artists cannot display any manufactured, buy-and-sell items, kits or pre-cut components and all items must be produced by the artist exhibiting the work.

Youth artists are also featured at the fair. Artists ages 8-17 design and make their own arts and crafts and display them at the fair both days, though youth artists have the option to display either Friday or Saturday, so attendees particularly interested in their work should attend both days to see all of the youth artists, Denise said.

For families attending the fair, free children’s arts and crafts activities take place under the tent on the courthouse lawn, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., with a circus theme. Face painting is also available. The Centre County Library branch in Bellefonte will offer free craft activities Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. A new craft option this year is Try Dye, where participants make their own high-quality, tie-dye creations on the courthouse lawn, for a small fee.

Farigoers should also come hungry.

“There will be 10 food vendors located in the food court near the post office, which will offer a variety of food such as tacos, fries, pierogis, pizza, funnel cakes, baked potatoes, roasted corn on the cob, hot sausage, shaved ice,” Denise said.

The fun kicks off at 10 a.m. Friday, with activities on Allegheny and High streets and entertainment lasting until 8 p.m. Saturday. Free parking is available at the Bellefonte Area High School, where a free shuttle takes attendees downtown. There are three shuttle stops at the event, on West Bishop, South Spring and East Howard streets. The shuttle is available 10 a.m.–8:30 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m. on Saturday.

For more information, visit http://bellefontefair.org/.

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