Powers Festival opens today; Exhibitors primed and ready
BY SARAH FAY CAMPBELL
It was a busy Friday at Powers Pavilion, as artists, crafters, and representatives of non-profit organizations set up their booths and tents for the 42nd annual Powers Festival, which starts today and runs through Monday.
There are a lot of new artists this year, as well as new food vendors. There are also new activities for the kids.
The festival is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. all three days, rain or shine. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for those over 55, students, and military with ID. Children under 12 are free. There is also a three-day pass for $10.
Some of the artists who have been coming to the festival for years made other plans when it was believed — for a few months in late 2011 and early 2012 — the show wouldn’t go on.
But many of the exhibitors setting up Friday has been to Powers before.
Kathy Bowdoin of Fashion Magnetics said this is her “third or fourth” time. She creates fashionable therapeutic magnetic jewelry.
“It’s always fun,” she said of exhibiting at Powers. “They’ve got some of the best food vendors and entertainment,” she said.
When she initially heard there wasn’t going to be a festival this year, “we were real disappointed,” she said. “I thought attendance was really good last year. We had a good show.”
She applied to two other shows that take place on Labor Day weekend, but when she got an e-mail saying the festival was on, “I said, ‘I’ll cancel [with the other shows].’”
“I was thrilled to death when I heard” the show was back on, Bowdoin said.
“This is the place to be.”
The weather forecast is for a slight chance of pop-up showers all weekend. Bowdoin is prepared. Last year, a tropical storm blew in on Monday and the show closed early. “I’ve got so much stuff under tables,” she said. “I’ve done everything I can to prepare.”
Cheryl and Bill Wanke of Ceramics by Cheryl were also glad to get the news that the festival was taking place this year. When they first got the bad news, they started thinking about other festivals held on Labor Day where they could exhibit.
“The word went around like wildfire” among the arts and crafts community, Cheryl said. “It was like, unbelievable,” she said.
When the word came that the festival would happen, they sent in their application quickly.
“They said we were the first one,” said Bill.
“To us, losing this show would be a big loss, financially,” he said.
The Wankes are retired now, and it wouldn’t be that devastating for them. But “a lot of these vendors — if you lose a show, you don’t pay the mortgage,” Cheryl said.
Carolyn Turner and Pat Tidwell of the local Brown’s Mill Battlefield Association were busy getting their booth ready on Friday. It’s the association’s second time exhibiting at Powers Festival.
They plan to tell people about the plans for the battlefield park, and sell crafts to raise money for the association. They’ve got yard art made of old dishes and glassware, as well as bird feeders and butterfly feeders, and aprons, pillows and other “heirloom fabrics.”
For more information about the Powers Festival, visit www.powerspavilion.com or call 770-253-2011.