By Kathy Hubbard
Some things will change and some things will stay the same as the 48th annual Arts and Crafts Fair fills the streets of downtown Sandpoint on Saturday, Aug. 8 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 9 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Hosted by the Pend Oreille Arts Council, 100 vendors will set up their tents from Main Street east of Farmin Park to First Avenue and across Second Avenue from Cedar to Church streets.
As in years past, artists and crafters from all over the country will sell their handmade merchandise in this juried event that’s always a family favorite. Whether you’re looking for clever gifts or hunting for treasures for yourself, the Arts and Crafts Fair is tailor-made for shoppers’ discerning taste. From metal art to pottery to jewelry to fine art to yard art, this show has something for every budget, too.
Speaking of taste, food vendors will be on hand to deliver culinary treats while students and instructors from the Music Conservatory at Sandpoint provide music.
“I’m excited that this fair is bigger and better than last year,” said POAC Board President Carol Deaner. “We gave a lot of thought to whether we should have the Arts and Crafts Fair this year with COVID-19 hanging around, but we finally came to the decision to have it because the livelihood of many of these artisans depends on the sales at events such as this.”
Health safety protocols at this year’s fair include spacing booths farther apart to allow for social distancing and attendees will be asked not to enter a crowded booth but to wait outside until they can peruse with more space between fellow shoppers.
All attendees will also be asked to wear masks. POAC volunteers will have masks and hand sanitizer for anyone in need. Because of the need for distancing and disinfecting, there won’t be the Kaleidoscope Kids Booth this year.
“The POAC board of directors, staff and city officials believe that the plan we have in place will make for a very successful and safe weekend,” Deaner said, adding that POAC would understand if anyone feeling uncomfortable coming downtown, wearing a mask and practicing social distancing decided to stay away.
“Our top priority is for the safety of our community,” she said.
Downtown streets where the fair will take place will be closed to vehicle traffic beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 7, continuing until 8 p.m. on Sunday. Access to the City Parking Lot will be on Church Street only. For more information go to artinsandpoint.org or call the POAC office at 208-263-6139.
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