Harvest Moon draws art crowd

PARKERSBURG – After Saturday’s rains cleared out, thousands flocked to City Park on Sunday for the final day of the 51st Annual Harvest Moon Arts and Crafts Festival.

Organizers believe that people who held off coming Saturday because of rain came out Sunday en masse in order to see many local artisans exhibit their homemade products.

“It has been going great,” said event director Vickie Marshall. “I think the people who couldn’t come out (Saturday) because of the rain are coming out (Sunday).

“We also have our typical Sunday crowds so we have been getting both.”

By early Sunday afternoon, organizers said they had over 1,200 visitors which surpassed attendance on Saturday during continuing rain storms.

“It has been a great turnout,” Marshall said. “We hope the people who came out had fun.

“Everything sold here is handmade,” Marshall said of the weekend festival. “We hope people will be able to look at some of the demonstrations going on and see how things are actually made. We hope they get a little bit of education.”

With new and returning vendors, Marshall said many of the people who came out Saturday were buyers so the many of the 175 vendors and exhibitors were happy with the sales they were able to make then and many were happy Sunday with the influx of people.

The festival featured freshly made soaps, apple butter, handmade jewelry, woodwork, pottery, home crafts, artwork and more. Many items are one-of-a-kind and cannot be found anywhere else.

“I hope people are also able to start purchasing some of their Christmas gifts as well as their favorite crafts,” Marshall said.

The festival is a fundraiser for the Wood County Recreation Commission.

Doris Dean, of Parkersburg, was always on the lookout for something new.

“I love to come every year and see all of the different crafts,” she said. “All of the different things here is what keeps me coming back.”

Connie Moore, of Parkersburg, loves looking at the crafts, interacting with the exhibitors and finding something unique.

“I come here every year,” she said.

Having an event like Harvest Moon, where crafters can come and present their work, is great for the community, Moore said.

“They are so few and far between,” she said.

Kara Longwell, of Mineral Wells, said there is always something going on during the festival.

“There are a lot of crafts and people to see”‘ she said.”It is a good social event. It is nice.”

Nehemiah Copeland, of the Athens, Ohio area, came to the festival Sunday with his grandmother to see what was available. She had attended the festival in the past, but it had been several years. He enjoyed seeing a lot of local artisans able to get out to show their wares.

“It is pretty nice,” he said. “There are a lot of local arts and crafts with local people making them.”

Parkersburg resident Jennifer Bayer comes to the Harvest Moon Festival every year.

“I live close by and I always enjoy coming to look at the crafts,” she said.

Bayer was impressed with the number of people out on a Sunday as well as the quality of crafts and items being offered.

“This is the best I have seen in a long time,” she said. “I have already bought a couple of things, a couple of nice pieces for the house. I got a good deal.”

Many vendors were happy that the weather cleared off and people came to the festival Sunday.

Kendra Hays of Le Colour Bar in Vienna, who was doing hair extension work with feathers for people, said things improved greatly from Saturday to Sunday.

“It was so much better, so much nicer and not so muddy and wet,” Hays said. “I think people held off (Saturday) in order to come (Sunday).

“It has turned out to be a beautiful day. We are all really happy about it.”