One of the long range plans of the festival committee has been to highlight each year a different specific technique or aspect of the fiber industry, or to invite in some other formal group or individual within the fiber arts community to educate us about their focus. In 2017 we are focusing on Spinning. Please plan to come hear the presentations by all of our guest fiber artists: Garry Aney, Barb & Clint Fudge, and Pamella Wood. Check out the Featured Event webpage for details about their talks.
We will also be giving our Vendors signs "Ask Me About My Spinning" to display that identify them as having items such as equipment, special fiber, and products specifically related to spinning, or who teach spinning (not just those with yarn to sell), so you can target them especially for questions about this well known and widely practiced fiber art.
Midday music will be provided by a popular local performer Everett Farrell from Hartwick. He does live country, southern rock, classic rock, and americana music based out of Upstate NY and Southwest Florida.
We're bringing back our Wheel Corral - especially as this festival will be focused on spinning. This is a collection of different brands and styles of spinning wheels all in one place (the Corral). If you have ever wondered what it would be like to learn to spin, we have folks willing to give you a short lesson under their watchful guidance. And if you are an experienced spinner, it is also an opportunity to try out a non-familiar brand or style. If you are looking to buy a new spinning wheel, maybe a "test spin" is what you need. The Cherry Valley Spinners guild has graciously agreed to oversee the Wheel Corral again this year so we've moved it to right next to their booth in Tent A. It's at the back left corner of the tent and we suspect that if the weather is nice, they'll drop the sides of the tent and you'll be able to easily see it from the Food Court.
Fiber Activity Tent
The large Fiber Activity Tent that is between the Children's Tent and the Sheep Shearing will again house the Fleece & Fiber Sale, the Workshops, our new Short Courses, and our featured event artists. The Wheel Corral will again be in tent A. We are bringing back the Dining Canopy - aka a tent without sides - that will cover most of the expanse between the row of Food Vendors and Tent E. And even more additional chairs. We hope you'll take the opportunity to just sit, talk, and show off your new purchases in between shopping forays or visits to one of the other ongoing demonstrations or events of the festival.
Fiber Art Demonstrations
We have again invited vendors to showcase their talents on your behalf. They always graciously volunteer to bring their equipment and offer their time to periodically demonstrate some of the processes involved in fiber crafts. This year you can be sure many will be demonstrating their own version of spinning fiber. Setting a time or list of demonstrations has been too restrictive so again we are letting the vendors decide what and when they will be presenting. When you arrive at the festival, check with the vendors directly. Many of them will be demonstrating "on-demand", meaning that if they are not already engaged with a customer, they will drop what they are doing and demonstrate their craft for you. A real one-on-one opportunity for you to ask the questions YOU want to know! We just request that you be considerate as it is the purchasing customer who supports our wonderful vendors and enables them to pursue their fiber craft as a local and independently owned business. We are proud of our volunteers and hope you gain an appreciation for the skill and talent this festival showcases. Enjoy!
Our Children's Tent returns as an area set up to be a fun and educational place for youth of all ages from the toddler age and up. There are informative displays with a corresponding variety of fiber samples to educate all ages. There will also be carefully designed activities for our youngsters to learn about the backbone of our industry - the fiber and the animals that produce it. Whether the youngsters are coloring pictures of sheep and llamas, trying their hand at needle-felting, decorating a mask, or weaving potholders, our adult volunteers know how to let the kids enjoy themselves while learning.
We are pleased to announce a return performance by Carapace Farm Puppetry's Dancing Hands Puppet Troupe at 1 pm each day in the Children's Tent. It's only a 20 minute performance so you don't want to miss it. The Turnip is a traditional story, told in many cultures. It reminds us that all contributions are important, and that even small efforts can bring big results. The puppets used are called table top or standing puppets, and they are constructed of hand made wool felt. Check out this photo of the little old woman and the little old man who start off The Turnip story.
Fun activities also include serious "farming" with our new farm playset complete with fiber and other farm animals. There is a fun dry corn pit protected by hay bales to rearrange with all manner of heavy duty farm implements sized just right for the budding farmer. And back by popular demand, we'll have a few baby fiber animals as well. These are always a big hit for young and old. Adults are also very welcome to try any of the crafts available.