Bellefonte Arts and Crafts Fair allows children’s inner artists to shine

Tyler Kerns walked around the Bellefonte Arts & Crafts Fair Saturday at Talleyrand Park with his face painted in honor of his favorite team, the Nittany Lions.

This was just one of the perks for children at the fair as their parents admired the work of other artisans.

“I tell the kids ‘no paint in the house,’ so we come here and they get to do all the painting they want,” Tyler’s mother, Wendi Kerns, said. “It’s nice because there are things for them and things my husband and I like.”

Saturday concluded the 2013 Bellefonte Arts & Crafts fair where more than 65 vendors were set up, in addition to food offerings and live entertainment.

Throughout the day, Discovery Space and Dominion Science Center offered hands-on demonstrations for kids. Children could also create their own arts and crafts.

Tyler and his little sisters Jamie, 7, and Carly, 6, tried out finger painting and drawing and even made cards for family members whose birthdays are coming up soon.

But for the older generation, homemade jewelry, paintings and creative knickknacks were more their style.

“It’s just nice to see how talented some people are,” Kerns said. “I’ve never been able to think outside of the box like these artists do.”

Darci Wirth, of Wilkes-Barre, owns Beyond Bottles — a business where she creates functional tableware and other items from recycled wine bottles from wineries of Pennsylvania and the Finger Lakes region of New York.

“I’m a lover of glass and I was able to turn my hobby into a business,” Wirth said. “Plus I’m able to use these bottles that would otherwise go in the landfill.”

Wirth said she produces 200 to 300 bottles a week, each taking about 15 hours to make from an electric kiln.

This is Wirth’s second year at the fair. She said luckily this year, the weather was perfect.

“Last year it rained on the first day. I’d be in my tent and peek my head out and wave that we were open,” she said. “This year couldn’t have turned out better.”