This weekend marks the 27th annual Mountain Heritage Arts and Crafts Festival at Sam Michael's Park. This event, sponsored by the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, offers a unique gathering of crafters and artisans with a huge variety of choices for purchase.
For those who have never been to the festival or for those who go each time, we challenge you to visit each vendor. You will be sure to find something you have not seen before and find some wonderful gifts in the process. As we head into October, the retail stores are reminding us that Christmas is just around the corner; so this festival offers a wonderful time to do some early shopping.
The Chamber works very hard on this event twice each year and it serves as one of their major fundraising efforts. For those who are not aware of what the Chamber does with those funds: they make many donations to local charities and groups. Each of the county's fire departments receive allotments from the funds garnered through the festival as do schools and a variety of other charitable organizations. Paying the minimal admission fee into the festival provides a way to donate to charity in an easy fashion. Even if you are not looking for a particular item, just visiting provides a bit more revenue that is, in turn, put back into our local community.
In addition to finding great gifts (for others or yourself) the festival also offers live entertainment and activities for the kids. Enjoy some bluegrass music, food from the vendors and make it a family affair while supporting the local Chamber.
We also challenge you to find among the more than 200 vendors several locals who are selected through the jurying process each year to be a part of the festival. There are standards of quality and craftsmanship that must be met to become a vendor at the festival and several local folks have qualified year after year. We would even go so far as to say that some Shepherdstown-specific folks will be on hand selling beautiful products. Go look for them!
The festival runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. so there is ample time for a stop in. Don't let the minimal chances of rain each day prohibit you from an enjoyable few hours.