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The Berea Craft Festival celebrates its 40th year in-person

Published: Jul. 11, 2021 at 2:03 PM EDT
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BEREA, Ky. (WKYT) - The Berea Craft Festival celebrated its 40th year in person with vendors from across the country.

The highly anticipated event was virtual last year due to the pandemic.

If on the hunt for jewelry or décor, Kentuckians needed to head no further than the Berea Craft Festival.

“I was looking for pottery soap holders and I found two at a very good price,” says shopper Deborah Cain.

“I think they were just ready to shop,” says coordinator Melissa Gross. “They were ready to buy, they were ready to see everybody come back together.”

Gross says the event’s cancellation in 2020 due to COVID provided artisans time to get creative. She says having the festival in-person gives artists the chance to demonstrate with shoppers, who often appreciate the work even more.

“You are able to see someone throwing at pottery, you are able to see the blacksmith build the fire, hammer it out, and when you take that home it has a completely different feel,” Gross says.

In-person shopping also allows for interaction in each booth.

Gabriella Bene’s the owner of the Gift of Gab, a booth that sells artisan candles. It’s her first craft show ever as a vendor, and at a place she’s been going to since the age of 12.

“It has always been in the back of my mind that it would be really amazing to come here as a crafter,” Bene says.

For shoppers, the event in person once more is a sign we’ve reached an anticipated sense of normalcy.

“I think that’s across the board for everybody, they’re just excited to get out and be with people again,” says Cain.

Gross says many crafters rely on festivals like this one in Berea for additional income.

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