HENDERSON, Ky. — If you’re into artisanship, craftsmanship or just good eats, the Henderson Lions Club Arts and Crafts Festival at Audubon Park this weekend should probably be on your list of things to do.
Only handcrafted items will be for sale; that has been the event’s niche for many years and will continue to be, explained Elisa Snyder, vendor chairman for this year’s festival.
“We want to keep it from getting too commercial,” Snyder said. “We’ve had some people in the past ask about other things but we just want to keep this festival being what it’s always been about.”
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The festival did not happen last year because of COVID-19, but this year’s event is on, rain or shine. Snyder said organizers expect as many as 10,000 people based on past turnouts and depending on weather.
“I think we’ve got a great event here and we always hear from people about how excited they are to come,” she said. “This used to be such a huge event for Henderson and since the Lions Club took it over (seven) years ago I think we’ve been able to start restoring it to what it once was.”
As of Thursday morning, there were 108 vendors lined up for the festival. For sale will be arts and crafts of all kinds: holiday decor, pottery, baked goods, metal work, wood crafts and jewelry among them. Several vendors will be demonstrating their crafts, including an iron worker and a potter.
There will also be a nature booth with live animals and a few other activities suitable for children. And of course, plenty of food vendors slinging barbecue, tacos, burgers, kettle corn, fried food and anything else you might expect to find at a fair.
“It’s quite an array of food choices and I think that can be a big attraction in itself,” Snyder said. “I expect there will be some people that come just because they’re looking for something good to eat.”
The festival typically draws in people from all over the Tri-State, with vendors making their way to Henderson from as far as Alabama and Florida in recent years.
Because the festival is so spread out throughout the park, there will be shuttles — open air wagons — to get people from one spot to another. The Lions Club is taking that precaution and several others to prevent COVID spread and ask that people who attend keep that in mind.
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“Obviously if you are on a shuttle with other people we’ll want you to wear a mask, and wear a mask any other time you can’t do social distance,” Snyder said. “All we ask is for people follow some guidelines and be respectful of others so everyone can have a good time.”
While admission is free, there is a $5 parking fee per car. As a nonprofit the Lions Club works to help those in need locally, particularly assisting those in need of eyeglasses and other vision-related expenses. Proceeds from the festival benefit those efforts.
The festival will be held this Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. For more information visit the Henderson Lions Club Facebook page: www.facebook.com/hendersonlions