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Craft fair finds new venue

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Baskets, blankets, jewelry among wares expected Saturday

By Amber Coulter

The annual Every Woman’s Arts and Crafts Festival has outgrown its traditional location and is partnering this year with Second Saturday in downtown Elizabethtown.

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The event is aimed at giving women, professional artists and those who tinker around in their homes, a chance to display and sell their work, mingle and learn from each other.

That’s important because many don’t recognize how much skill and work goes in to some of the handmade blankets, baskets and other crafts created by friends and family, said LaDonna Eastman, who has organized the festival for the past five years.

“A lot of people don’t think their work is valuable,” she said. “It’s a nice way to validate that what you do is valuable.”

The festival this weekend also is a way to give buyers access to items more unique and important to them than those they might purchase at a larger store, Eastman said.

“If it’s something that’s made by someone in your family or someone you know personally, it tends to have more intrinsic value,” she said. “These are unique pieces of art by real people, not mass-produced stuff.”

There were about 30 vendors during the festival’s first year at Colvin Community Center in Radcliff, Eastman said. The women had positive feedback and turnout was good. The festival continued to grow during the next few years until it outgrew the Radcliff location, she said.

Eastman, owner of Wild Earth Gallery on North Main Street in Elizabethtown, began organizing a similar event when she lived in St. Augustine, Fla.

When she returned to her native Hardin County to help her ailing mother, she could find no events celebrating local women’s creativity. Eastman continued to put the event together when she later moved back to the area and set up her gallery.

“It’s important, I think, because everybody makes stuff,” she said. “Most women make something, whether it’s jewelry or sewing or clay. They do something decorative and fun to occupy spare time and often for functional work at their home.”

Eastman said opening her gallery in downtown Elizabethtown and becoming a member of the Elizabethtown Heritage Council inspired her to partner with the council to give the festival a new home.

The festival is on its traditional date, the Saturday before Mother’s Day, which coincides with the Heritage Council’s monthly Second Saturday event.

The festival is from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. during Second Saturday this weekend along North Main Street and in the parking lot at Cherry and Plum alleys. It is planned to proceed rain or shine.

The craft event always includes music, often performed by female artists. Partnering with Second Saturday means the music will be more prominently displayed with the feeling of a street festival, Eastman said.

To reserve a booth, go to www.everywomansart.org. The cost to set up a booth is $45.

Amber Coulter can be reached at (270) 505-1746 or acoulter@thenewsenterprise.com.