April 04, 2020

Grand Lake Stream festival attracts artists, craftspeople

GRAND LAKE STREAM – More than a decade ago, a group of women got together to plan a festival for their little resort community.

Now that festival has grown into one of the premier events in the state, attracting folk artists, craftspeople, canoe builders, boat builders, quilters and musicians from all over the northeastern United States and New Brunswick.

And this year should be even better than years past. “I never thought it would be as grand as it is. I always thought it would be wonderful, but I never thought it would be so grand,” organizer Cathy Shamel said.

The festival opens Saturday and runs through Sunday. Gates open at 10 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. Admission is $5 for the day and $8 for both days.

Set in one of the most spectacular wilderness areas of New England, this Washington County village will come alive for the gathering of patrons and shoppers who enjoy the atmosphere of the festival.

More than 50 folk artists and craftspeople will be on hand with their collectible folk art and functional handcrafts. There will be new exhibits, too, including a jewelry maker and pottery artisan. Many of the regular exhibitors will be back.

The St. Croix International Quilters Guild will be there, along with the Red Hat Ladies Society from Arundel, whose members help out in the quilt tent.

Also part of the festival is a display of antique and heirloom quilts. Again this year, Louise Moore of Grand Lake Stream has created a quilt especially for the festival that will be raffled.

New this year is a group of teenage fiddlers from the Farmington area. They will join the list of regular entertainers that includes Randy Spencer, Black Sox, Bluegrass Supply and Jim Gallant. “Our jam session has grown into one of the most popular events,” Shamel said.

There will be a variety of demonstrations. Paula Farrar of Done Roving Farms will demonstrate spinning and needle felting. Also planned is a pack-basket demonstration

There will be moose at this year’s festival. The group Wednesday’s Women of Grand Lake Stream came up with the idea. “Different organizations have purchased a moose and they will paint it and they will be on display at the festival,” she said. “Kenny Battista has made them. They are three-dimensional and made out of wood. They are very beautiful.”

They will be auctioned off after the festival. Proceeds will be used to benefit a Grand Lake Stream project.

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