This is it: The big one. The annual Arts and Crafts Fair in Schroon Lake, one of the oldest and finest arts and crafts fairs in all of upstate New York.
The 49th year of this giant arts and crafts fair is Saturday, July 15, 2017. This mass of white tents, with over 100 vendors, is set up on the shore of Schroon Lake. They will be busy from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for your browsing pleasure.
For the lake
This tradtition began as a benefit to finance taking care of the lake. One of the displays is from Warren County Soil and Water Conservation. They will explain how the watershed works, as it moves rainwater and snowmelt until it becomes part of the lake.
Doesn't the lake take care for itself? Well, it could use some help. Invasive species are a serious concern, necessitating funds for milfoil harvesting and scientific studies. There's the need for a certified lake manager as a consultant and underwriting the fees involved in CSLAP. That is the Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program, a volunteer lake monitoring and education program managed by New York state's Department of Environmental Conservation and Federation of Lake Associations (NYSFOLA).
The whole fair is sponsored by The Schroon Lake Association, which formed in 1911 and has been protecting the lake ever since. All profits from the fair go toward responsible lake management. In addition, they are raffling off a Hornbeck canoe to cover additional conservation efforts. Tickets will be $20 each, with only 300 tickets being sold.
Hornbecks, from nearby Olmstedville, are the famous ultra-light canoes that can be portaged with one hand. I've paddled one, and it's a fine boat for our lakes and rivers, with responsive handling and a delightful feel.
For the senses
The folks from Adirondack Kettle Korn are going to be there, and the scent will fill the tents. This is a treat worth showing up for all by itself, according to their many fans.
Look for the Lion’s Club Snack Shack, too. They specialize in summer treats like freshly made lemonade and shaved ice. This also raises money for lake maintenance.
I have been informed that the famous "Amish Baker of Fort Plain" will be returning with her amazing pies and cookies. Last year, when she was only 11, her stand was cleared out in two hours. Now, she has probably grown in power. Get to her place early!
Remember to drop by the Silent Auction Table, with its SLA member volunteers. These items are donated by fair vendors and area merchants to help raise money for lake projects. They will also have plenty of membership materials and informative brochures.
There will also be live entertainment throughout the day, to make everyone's ears happy.
For the beauty
While there will be plenty of tasty treats, there's also going to be a feast for our eyes.
There will be lots of wonderful decorative options available. Get an authentic Adirondack chair, or choose among the many artists who work with wood to create frames, mirrors, candle holders, and other lovely items. There will be candle and soap makers there, too.
Explore the practical with the many potters and ceramic artists, like David J. Coleman and his Fawn Ridge Pottery. He specializes in fine quality, handcrafted stoneware that are as practical as they are beautiful. He can also produce one of a kind artworks, like the plate, below, known as "Waterfall On Brown."
Another local favorite is Northeast Living Lights, who concentrate on stunning Adirondack-themed lighting ideas. Their philosphy is to use real ferns, leaves, cedar, or hemlock on handcrafted shades. I love the way these elements are, as they say, "illuminated when the lamp is on and hidden when it’s turned off." They create lamp bases with cast metal or actual tree trunks with roots.
Another item which is both utilitarian and a work of art.
A girlfriend and I are already excited about the jewelry, too. I hear there will be a vendor with antique button jewelry, one of my areas of interest. Our other halves have been alerted; some mad money will be required.
One of the fine features of an Adirondack summer is our many delightful craft fairs, and this is one of the biggest and best. If you love this kind of thing, you owe it to yourself to explore its many possibilities.
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