Thousands expected to attend Labor Day Arts and Crafts Festival

SHOPPING: Attendees of last year's Labor Day Arts and Crafts Festival look through items at a vendor's booth. This year event will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 5, in Hemlock Park in Big Rapids. (Pioneer file photo)

SHOPPING: Attendees of last year’s Labor Day Arts and Crafts Festival look through items at a vendor’s booth. This year event will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 5, in Hemlock Park in Big Rapids. (Pioneer file photo)

BIG RAPIDS — Craft lovers looking for one-of-a-kind items are likely to find just what they’re looking for and more at the upcoming Labor Day Arts and Crafts Festival.

This is the 48th year for the annual event, which draws between 10,000 and 12,000 attendees to Hemlock Park, said Jennifer Heinzman, executive director of the Mecosta County Chamber of Commerce.

There will be about 100 vendors with items for sale between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m, on Monday, Sept. 5. The event is free to attend.

“With school starting before Labor Day, we find lots of people are back in town, so this is something to do during Labor Day weekend with the family,” Heinzman said. “The items all are handcrafted. It’s an opportunity to find unique treasures.”

Heinzman said she starts her Christmas shopping at the event, while others begin to buy decorations for their homes for the upcoming fall and winter seasons.

Paintings, drawing, pottery, clothing, jewelry, soaps, food items and more will be sold at the arts and craft festival. There also will be food vendors, music in the bandshell and a climbing wall borrowed from Cran-Hill Ranch.

“There’s a little bit of everything,” Heinzman said. “It’s a nice variety.”

Vendors interested in participating still have time to sign up, even right up until the day of the event, Heinzman added.

“We do get a couple vendors who register at the gate,” she said. “We will make room for them and we still have the tennis courts, so we will keep growing.”

Whether it rains or is a beautiful day, the event will go on, Heinzman said.

Along with the Labor Day Arts and Crafts Festival, there are various other activities in the area throughout the weekend.

Those visiting Hemlock Park for some shopping can also take a stroll to Mitchell Creek Park and along Pine Street for the annual River Valley Classic Car show. The show will be from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Labor Day.

STAGE-M will present “Duets” three times throughout the weekend, with the first show at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 2, at the Hemlock Park Bandshell. The show features duets from Broadway. The next day, STAGE-M will perform the show two more times, at 2 p.m. and at 7 p.m., on Saturday, Sept. 3, at the Hemlock Park Bandshell.

The public also is invited to a holiday pancake breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 4, at the Mecosta County Rod and Gun Club. Breakfast will be at the clubhouse.

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Posted by Emily Grove

Emily is the Pioneer and Herald Review crime and court reporter, covering crime in both Mecosta and Osceola counties. She can be reached by e-mail at emily@pioneergroup.com or by phone at (231) 592-8362.

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