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Treasure Hunt

07/31/2008 05:00PM ● Published by Super Admin

The downtown Placerville Craft Faire, celebrating its 12th year on August 10, features more than 100 regional artisans showing their creations all along Main Street. Somewhere, among all of the booths and banners, there’s likely to be a one-of-a-kind work of art with your name on it. All you have to do is find it.

“These works are all labors of love,” says Lisa Crummett, marketing director for the Placerville Downtown Association, which organizes the event. “Whether it’s bird houses, fine art or any of the numerous other handcrafted works, the Craft Faire brings together a huge variety of things you can’t find just anywhere.”

A few of these unique works include the photographic art of Bill Robinson, who makes photographs look like watercolors or oil paintings, the outdoor yard art of Kyle and Rita Yates, and the exquisite work of Gene Gracey’s “Nature’s Looking Glass,” which combines nature photography with jewelry and memory boxes, coasters, framed tiles, note cards and other items to create works that are as functional as they are lovely. In addition, there’s pottery, dolls, quilts, soaps, candles, jewelry, woodwork items and much more.

Originally the dream of a local shop owner, the Placerville Craft Faire now brings more than 2,000 people to downtown Placerville each year – rain or shine. Planning for the one-day free event starts months in advance, as each exhibitor must be approved before they’re allowed to put their crafts on display.

“We jury the whole show in advance to make sure we’re featuring truly unique crafts, as opposed to more commercial items,” Crummett says. “Artisans have to send in photos of their work, and then we go around and check all the booths on the event day. We really want visitors to feel when they come to the faire they’re finding something truly unique.”

For those of us who are still horrified by gas prices, consider the faire two trips in one, as the event is also a great way to explore downtown Placerville. Even though Main Street will be closed to automobiles, all street-side shops and restaurants will be open for business. It makes for a great day of mixing food, shopping and entertainment, and best of all it’s close to home. Throw in free parking and admission, and there’s no denying that the Craft Faire is hard to beat as a good value for a day’s entertainment.

Just be prepared, however, August tends to be a warm time of the year, so anyone preferring cooler weather should plan on visiting right when the faire opens at 8 a.m.

Finally, for anyone who thinks they may have a craft to share, the Placerville Craft Faire is a great place to talk to other artists, get information, and maybe even acquire a few tips on how to get started.
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For more information on the event, visit the Placerville Downtown Association’s Web site at placerville-downtown.org or call 530-672-3436.

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