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Junefest showcases local vendors, craftsmen

The finest local crafters will display their talents at the 2nd annual Junefest Arts and Crafts Festival this Saturday at the Briggs Library main branch in Ironton.

The second-floor concourse will be packed with vendors displaying handmade items ranging from quilts and blankets, doll clothes, jewelry, paintings and woodcarvings.

Friends of the Library member Nancy Norris said the idea for the event was given to group this past year.

“We just thought we’d give it a try,” she said. “The vendors thought it was a success.”

So much, in fact, that no sooner had Junefest ended vendors began asking when another event might take place, and that’s how Octoberfest was born.

“When we kept getting asked when we were going to do another craft show someone suggested we do it in October since most of the events in the fall happen on the other side of the river in Ashland (Ky.) or Huntington (W.Va.),” she said. “We plan on doing that one again this year, too.”

Part of the event’s success in 2013 hinged on other things happening simultaneously in downtown Ironton on the same day, such as the Farmers Market.

“We held last year’s event at the same time as the Farmers Market and some people thought it would hinder the attendance at Junefest,” Norris said. “But what ended up happening was people who made a special trip to town for the Farmers Market also came to the festival. It was another thing for them to do.”

Using the library as another venue, Norris said, is beneficial to the vendor and the library.

“We do what we can and just hope people show up,” she said. “It gives us a chance to promote the library to a group of people who may not have ever been in the library and just promote it to the community in general. The ultimate goal for (Friends of the Library) is making people realize what a wonderful library we have here.”

There are currently 18 vendors signed up and Norris said she could possibly have one more spot available. To vie for the spot or be added to the waiting list, call Norris at 740-237-4492.