Country’s #1 craft fair to kick off in Mount Dora

Yoshiko Yap

The number one arts and craft festival in the country is kicking off in Mount Dora this weekend. The Mount Dora Craft Fair earned the top spot in Sunshine Artist Magazine this year. That is good news for event leaders after they had to cancel the fair last year because […]

The number one arts and craft festival in the country is kicking off in Mount Dora this weekend. The Mount Dora Craft Fair earned the top spot in Sunshine Artist Magazine this year. That is good news for event leaders after they had to cancel the fair last year because of the pandemic. “We’re excited to be back on the street and I know the public is really excited too,” said Janet Gamache. Gamache is the event coordinator. The two-day fair runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. During those hours, the streets of historic Mount Dora will be flooded with music and people. The charming town is just 45 minutes outside of Orlando and this year, event leaders are expecting over 100,000 people to visit over the course of the weekend. “Our shopkeepers and our exhibitors need that after that long spell of COVID activity,” said event chairman Brian Young. “Some of these merchants need this injection, shot in the arm so to speak coming into the Christmas season. It’s going to make a big difference to their bottom line.”Shopkeepers like Lisa Winslow agree. She has owned Home & Garden Treasures on North Donnelly Street since 1999. “This is going to be a fabulous weekend and I’m hoping it gets me in the black and out of the red,” Winslow said. One of the COVID protocols at the craft fair is also meant to help the businesses. Event leaders are spacing vendors five feet farther apart to help with social distancing and so that people can see businesses on the other side of the tents better. “With them spacing it out, it’s a win-win because the merchants who are here year-round and basically make up this town can be profitable,” Winslow said. Gamache said part of their objective is to not only host a wonderful event, but to put Mount Dora on the map for people who have never visited before. “They’ll see all the beautiful arts and crafts. But then they’re going to look around and go, ‘Wow, Mount Dora is a beautiful town. Let’s go back and go for a staycation,’” she said.Since it is going to be a busy weekend, the event chairman said do not try to park in Downtown Mount Dora. Instead, Young said people should park at Mount Dora High School for $5 or Mount Dora Christian Academy for $10 and take the free shuttle.

The number one arts and craft festival in the country is kicking off in Mount Dora this weekend. The Mount Dora Craft Fair earned the top spot in Sunshine Artist Magazine this year.

That is good news for event leaders after they had to cancel the fair last year because of the pandemic.

“We’re excited to be back on the street and I know the public is really excited too,” said Janet Gamache.

Gamache is the event coordinator. The two-day fair runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. During those hours, the streets of historic Mount Dora will be flooded with music and people. The charming town is just 45 minutes outside of Orlando and this year, event leaders are expecting over 100,000 people to visit over the course of the weekend.

“Our shopkeepers and our exhibitors need that after that long spell of COVID activity,” said event chairman Brian Young. “Some of these merchants need this injection, shot in the arm so to speak coming into the Christmas season. It’s going to make a big difference to their bottom line.”

Shopkeepers like Lisa Winslow agree. She has owned Home & Garden Treasures on North Donnelly Street since 1999.

“This is going to be a fabulous weekend and I’m hoping it gets me in the black and out of the red,” Winslow said.

One of the COVID protocols at the craft fair is also meant to help the businesses. Event leaders are spacing vendors five feet farther apart to help with social distancing and so that people can see businesses on the other side of the tents better.

“With them spacing it out, it’s a win-win because the merchants who are here year-round and basically make up this town can be profitable,” Winslow said.

Gamache said part of their objective is to not only host a wonderful event, but to put Mount Dora on the map for people who have never visited before.

“They’ll see all the beautiful arts and crafts. But then they’re going to look around and go, ‘Wow, Mount Dora is a beautiful town. Let’s go back and go for a staycation,’” she said.

Since it is going to be a busy weekend, the event chairman said do not try to park in Downtown Mount Dora. Instead, Young said people should park at Mount Dora High School for $5 or Mount Dora Christian Academy for $10 and take the free shuttle.

https://www.wesh.com/article/countrys-1-craft-fair-to-kick-off-in-mount-dora/38039449

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