Reelfoot Arts and Crafts Festival set to begin Friday
The Reelfoot Arts and Crafts Festival in Lake County will be celebrating its 40-year anniversary starting this Friday, Sept. 30. With a forecast of great fall weather, festival-goers are expected to come out by the thousands to enjoy the many exhibitors from over 12 states.
"This is our 40th year and it continues to grow," said Anna Crocker, secretary/treasurer of the Reelfoot Arts and Crafts Association.
Crocker stated they already have 30 more vendors than last year and the crowds have been estimated to somewhere between 40,000 to 50,000.
"Last year was unbelievable," said Crocker.
She noted that the Reelfoot Arts and Crafts Festival was voted No. 1 in the state by "Tennessee" magazine
Another milestone the area is celebrating is the bicentennial celebration of the formation of Reelfoot Lake. The lake was formed when the region succumbed to three very large temblors during the New Madrid earthquakes of 1811-1812.
The Reelfoot Lake Bicentennial Committee will have a booth (No. 61) at the festival with information pamphlets on the lake's formation. They will also be selling T-shirts to commemorate the event. Pamela Whinnery will be at their booth selling signed copies of her cookbook "Country Goodness: Recipes of Tennessee Celebrities". The cookbook has over 300 recipes from local and national personalities, highly visible Tennessee businesses, artists, writers, athletes, sportsmen, actors, musicians, bed and breakfasts, restaurants, notable events and places. Half of the proceeds from the sale of the book will go to benefit the bicentennial committee in their educational efforts.
On top of the arts and crafts, Crocker said they will have a lot of food and music to keep everyone satisfied and happy.
"We have old-time string music all three days and gospel singing on Sunday afternoon," said Crocker.
She also noted the music chairman of the festival is 90-year-old Ellis Truett who was an original board member of the Reelfoot Arts and Crafts Association when it started. This year's president, Peggy Burruss is also an original board member.
The festival stretches for a little more than a mile on Highways 21/22 in Tiptonville, encompassing the American Legion Building, the Armory Building and Ellington Assembly Hall.
The festival will be open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Admission is free. While some free parking is available on Reelfoot Lake State Park grounds, most visitors pay to park in adjacent lots.
"Parking shouldn't be a problem," said Crocker noting several civic organizations would also be parking cars for a small charge.