Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Arts & Crafts in Northern Michigan

When you live in a climate that includes 4-6 months of winter, there's more to summer than just warm days. Any outdoor activities  - class reunions, weddings, fairs - get crammed into our 12-16 snowless weekends (notice I didn't say warm - just without snow).

The Elk Rapids Arts & Crafts Fair
Hands down one of my favorite summer activities is the arts and crafts fair. I'm lucky enough to live in a community that hosts one every month, May-August. Our May 25 fair was a bit chilly (notice the coats and jeans!), but the sun was out and the vendors showed up, so Linda and I grabbed our friends, Hope and Joy, then made our way downtown.

Our blacksmith friend (I forgot to get his name!)
Joy's favorite was this blacksmith. We could have stayed there all day without her complaining. It's hard to stay in once place, however, when you can smell the cinnamon roasted almonds a few booths down (because no fair is complete without some type of yummy snack food).
Only $2!!
My favorite part of the Elk Rapids art fair is the prices. I've been to dozens of other fairs over the years and spend most of my time drooling over pieces I'll never be able to afford. In Elk Rapids, the vendors sell everything from paintings worth hundreds of dollars (see below) to beautiful, hand-made dollar crafts for the kids (and modestly wealthy) to buy.
I admire this artist's work every year.
One of these days Linda and I will be rich, and we'll get to buy whatever we want at the arts and crafts fair, but for now we enjoy the window shopping and chatting with friends (not to mention finally getting outside after a long winter).
Joy with her new crown and flower.
Even if you don't enjoy buying hand-made artwork, the fair in Elk Rapids offers one of the most beautiful settings for any outdoor event. Walk two blocks past the fair and you end up at the beach; two blocks in the other direction takes you to the library. It doesn't matter which way you go - natural beauty surrounds the man-made beauty of the arts and crafts fair.
Linda and Hope leading the way.

 Best of all - it's a short walk home.
Another successful trip to the fair.

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