Bellefonte Arts and Crafts Fair celebrates 40th anniversary | Centre County Gazette

Yoshiko Yap

BELLEFONTE — Music, arts and crafts will return to the streets of downtown Bellefonte for the 40th once-a-year Bellefonte Arts and Crafts Fair on Aug. 4 and 5. The good will be open up to the community from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, with on-phase entertainment, artists, foodstuff sellers and arms-on functions for kids and adults.

To commemorate the 40th anniversary, earlier and existing associates of the reasonable committee shared highlights of the fair’s heritage, furthermore some impressive additions to this year’s good.

EARLY Historical past OF THE Fair

“The first person that began the truthful — it was held downtown — was Jerri Galadida Johnson,” reported Dona Goldman, a single of the 1st co-directors of the Bellefonte Arts & Crafts Honest. “The reason was to carry people into our town to showcase Bellefonte and our heritage — our spectacular architecture. It started out out pretty tiny. In the second 12 months, Jerri, who was my good friend, requested me to co-chair with her. The lengthier the honest went on, the additional suppliers we experienced. Ultimately we turned it into a juried demonstrate.”

 She mentioned she acquired all her mates involved, which include Toni Beigle, Dawn McKee and Nancy Dunn. “We started hanging banners on the street. Nancy Dunn was incredibly creative. We obtained fabric and manufactured strips. And I crawled up on a ladder on the gentle posts in Bellefonte and tied them around the mild posts. Nancy would maintain the ladder and I’d operate up. Then I’d maintain the ladder and she’d run up.”

She mentioned 16-calendar year-old radio DJ, Tor Michaels, broadcast from the good all day on WBLF. They experienced enjoyment from local bands, and fairgoers could take pleasure in food items from nearby dining places and Snyders’ pork sandwiches.

She said retired school academics Karen Baker and Susan Hardy Kline served as judges for the juried exhibit. Louise Mason structured the volunteers who would sit in the artists’ booths although the artists took breaks. Gloria Horner, secretary of the Bellefonte Chamber of Commerce, aided them promote the fair.

When Goldman was president of Historic Bellefonte Inc., the good turned a subsidiary of HBI, to advantage from HBI’s nonprofit tax standing.

“It was this sort of a neighborhood thing. Every person helped. I’m just so delighted that this honest is continuing mainly because it brings persons into Bellefonte. I have been all around the entire world and there is no place like Bellefonte. We have a excellent town and very small crime. I simply cannot feel of a greater spot to stay.”

Toni Beigle joined the good committee in the third calendar year, immediately after Johnson left the team. “I instructed Dona I’d be happy to help. Nancy Dunn was a huge contributor. It was not just the three of us. We questioned others to do matters.

“We utilized to have it the third weekend of August and now it is the very first weekend in August. We worked the total calendar year on the event. I almost certainly did it 10 many years, at the very least. We got our little ones and spouses included, obtained all people concerned with advertising and marketing, receiving vendors, children’s pursuits, organizing set up and cleanup, another person to evaluate the spaces the night time right before and amount them, and do paper do the job. Tom Wilson served us with entertainment. We had a social at the Gamble Mill for artists and people today performing at the reasonable to get that camaraderie,” Beigle stated. “Dona genuinely was the driving pressure in receiving individuals associated. Her spouse owned the Countrywide Retail outlet, a clothes keep in city.”

Latest Heritage

“The honest was held in Talleyrand Park from 2011 to 2017,” reported Steve Snook, who is co-director of the fair committee with his wife, Denise. “It was moved again to the streets of downtown Bellefonte to the place it originated for a few factors, to support bring clients to our downtown organizations, additionally we ended up constrained to the selection of sellers we could put in the park and we wanted to expand. It was hard for some of the suppliers to get their goods in the park given that you couldn’t drive to all the booths. There have been also challenges with seller parking and handicap accessibility to both of those sides of the park. 

He claimed, “I took around as director in 2017, and then in 2018 Denise and I became co-directors. It’s develop into a loved ones affair with our grownup kids, Kaitlyn and Brandon, serving to to manage this celebration with us.”

The present truthful committee has 17 members, according to the web-site


Denise Snook claimed the Reasonable will host 95 grownup artists as well as two nonprofits from Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts and North Carolina. The foods distributors are local. The musical lineup will include things like a wide variety of regional favorites, which include The Gabe Stillman Band, an award-successful blues band out of Williamsport, sponsored by the Joyful Valley Experience Bureau.

“We will have new awards this 12 months,” she explained, “one for each individual of the 12 art groups, which are Region Crafts, Fiber/Textile/Leather-based, Food items Artisans, Glass, Jewelry, Metal, Painting, Pictures/Electronic Art, Pottery/Clay/Ceramics, Soap, Wood, Typical/Combined Media. Awards will be declared Friday 5 p.m. at the stage on the diamond.

“We have extra an Artists in Action segment to the truthful this year together Allegheny Street in entrance of Art a la Carte,” she explained. “You can see some of the incredible artwork being designed by some local artists and you can halt by Jabebo Studio’s booth and make some artwork.” 

She reported that palms-on crafts routines will be available at the youth crafts tent on Howard Street equally days from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and for young children at the Centre County Library on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Bellefonte Arts Museum will present a self-led craft activity equally times from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“The Logan Fireplace Firm will hold an open up dwelling at their firehouse, located at 120 E. Howard St., on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., so provide the young children to see the firetrucks,” she said.


“Parking is restricted downtown so we strongly encourage people today to park for totally free at the Bellefonte Higher Faculty and choose the absolutely free shuttle to the occasion,” she explained. “Driver suggestions are appreciated. The two shuttle cease areas are Bishop Road at Allegheny Avenue and Spring Street at Higher Road.” 


Denise and Steve Snook expressed their many thanks to Sally Houser, president of Historic Bellefonte Inc., the truthful committee and the volunteers for their support. “We couldn’t do it with out them all these many years, and we recognize them so much.”

For a lot more details about the Bellefonte Arts & Crafts Fair, visit

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