2013 Effingham Artisan Fair Kicks Off Tonight


Published on April 22 2013 11:17 am
Written by Greg Sapp

Each year, downtown Effingham is transformed into an artist’s mecca as artists from all over the region set up shop on the lawn of the Historic Courthouse Museum and surrounding downtown area in Effingham.

The 8th Annual Effingham Artisan Fair kicks off today and continues on Saturday.

Tonight will feature the annual “Arts & Hearts” celebration.  This year, efforts are expanding to include an “Artist Soft Opening,” where over 20 artists will display their art for the community one day early.  From 5 to 8 p.m. a variety of events will be held to raise awareness for the arts in the community, including a live art auction benefiting ARC Community Support Systems, not-for-profit community informational booths, and dance performances from both Jansen’s Dance and Exclusively Dance.  Jansen’s Dance will perform at 5:30 p.m. and Exclusively Dance will perform at 6:00 p.m. along Fourth Street in downtown Effingham. The ARC Art Auction will begin at 6:30 p.m. In addition, organizers brought back beer tasting to the ever-popular wine tasting event. Friday evening will also include sidewalk chalk art, Can-Do-Art, a food fair featuring Martin’s IGA and the Gabby Goat, and live music in the wine & beer tasting tent. Specialty foods will be available, including Doris Yoder’s Kitchen, Oma Gisi’s German Bakery, a Dove chocolate consultant, and Tropical Sno both Friday and Saturday.

Kenna and Brian from "The Drive Home" will be broadcasting live from downtown today from 4-6pm.

Head back downtown Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the Artisan Fair where downtown is transformed into an art gallery with works from over 40 artists, on display for purchase.  Artwork for sale includes oil paintings, pottery, jewelry, and sculptures. Several artists will demonstrate their craft at the event.  A chainsaw demonstration will be featured throughout the day.  As mentioned, as part of the event, the Artisan Fair features wine and beer tasting. There will be approximately 10 regional wineries and several different craft beers available for tasting.  This event will open from 5 – 10 p.m. tonight and 12 – 5 p.m. Saturday.

Other activities during the Artisan Fair on Saturday include the Helen Matthes Library’s “Get Bookin” 5K Run and Walk, Kids Korner, sidewalk chalk art, “Can Do Art,” food fair, and live musical entertainment at the gazebo. Some of the artists include the Altamont High School Drum Line, Mike Antrim, Jed Adam and Andy Reuter.  The Historic Courthouse Museum will also be open both Friday evening and Saturday for tours.

There are a few new options for Saturday. The Effingham Central Business Group is sponsoring a Coffee Crawl. Get your passport from the information booth at the Artisan Fair, and take a stroll down Jefferson Avenue to local shops. At each host site, get your passport punched, and take it back to be entered to win a prize. Each host site plans to have free samples of different types of coffees and/or drinks, etc. Start the crawl anytime after 10 a.m. but be sure to get your passport back to the booth by 3:00 p.m. to be eligible to win. The other new addition features “The Blend” hair salon in downtown Effingham. They are having a “Hair Fashion Show” at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at the gazebo downtown. It’s sure to prove the arts have no boundaries, as they’ll show off their artistic talent through hairstyles.

For more information about the Effingham Artisan Fair, phone 800-772-0750 or 217-342-5310. Also, visit www.effinghamartisanfair.com or look on the Facebook page “Effingham Artisan Fair.”