Mossy Creek Barnyard Festival Showcases New Craftsmen and Artists
The Mossy Creek Barnyard Festival in Perry over the weekend brought a variety of new craftsman and merchants to the area.
The festival is in its 33rd year and 150 craftsmen and artists from 30 of the 50 states set up stations on the festival grounds including first time craftsmen Randy Cannon and Brian Renko who make white oak split cotton baskets.
"We both learned from the same teacher and we were invited over to Mossy Creek to be the featured artist."
The white oak basket weaving station is one of 20 new crafts featured at the festival this year, which organizer said is the most they’ve ever had regarding new arts and crafts stations.
"A lot of people apply to get in and we do have to either say to people, you know you don't quite fit the show or we will be glad to put you on our waiting list," festival promoter Julee Torrance said.
One craftsman who didn't need to wait for an invite was Jim Gasser who makes pottery.
"I didn't know anything about the festival,” Gasser said. “I was given an application so they figured I was good enough to get in here and I said, I’ll try it."
A decision that Gasser said paid off.
"I have a price point that I hope for at a festival,” he said. “This has achieved that, done a little better. So even in a down economy it has been a good festival for me."
Across the festival, Cannon and his baskets haven't been fairing as well but he said that's not the point of coming out.
"It's been really good conversation with people and getting the word out about what we are doing,” Cannon said. “I expect some things to happen down the line as a result of being here."
Organizers said thousands of people walked through the festival over the weekend. The fall festival will continue next year on the third weekend of October. Organizers also decided three weeks ago to cancel the spring festival and just focus on the fall festival to make it even bigger next year.