40th Annual Arts & Crafts Show features a variety of vendors, draws a crowd
Carlie Wilson | Staff Writer
Aw, craft! The 40th Annual AuSable River Festival Arts & Crafts Show, which featured a variety of new artists as well as Arts & Crafts Show alumni, drew crowds last week at the city park. The craft show came into town last Friday, and was open until 6 p.m. on Saturday.
The show featured a variety of booths, many featuring homemade products. Each booth sold different arts and knick-knacks.
Demi Muth and husband Michael Muth have been participating in the Arts & Crafts Show for the last three years “as recommended by a friend,” said Muth.
The Muth family is based in Midland, and participates in several craft shows around the Midland area, plus a few upstate events.
The Muths sell stone carved cutting boards in the shape of Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.
Another booth featured in the show was Dan Lary’s candle making booth.
Dan Lary, a retired geologist, has been in the candle making business for about two decades.
“We’ve been part of this particular craft show for about five years, but in total we’ve been doing craft shows for 20 odd years,” said Lary.
For some, crafting is a hobby, but for Lary, “I wanted something to do and I stumbled upon the candle-making business. I had so much fun making them and pretty soon I got passionate enough about it I decided to build a business out of it.”
“This Craft Show is incredible, everyone here is nice. This show isn’t a large show, but the atmosphere is nice. There’s not too much sun, we have a booth in the shade, the environment is good. It’s a family-friendly event and that’s a major thing we look for,” said Lary.
For Lary, his business is special because “we have do-it-yourself candles, but it’s more than that. We have granulated candle wax, and it comes in a variety of colors and scents. The candle they build is functional and it’s personal to them, which makes it special.”
“Being part of the craft show is a unique experience; it’s more than people just coming and spending money. Sure, people are spending money but we are letting people be the artist and getting their money’s worth,” said Lary.
Another friendly face at the craft show was that of Art Mills, from the Upper Peninsula.
Mills and his team sell “bird houses and lawn ornaments. Something different every year. We build it all by ourselves. Our processes all vary. The animal head bird houses take about half a day. We build a Native American Indian and he takes a little over 12 hours.”
According to Mills, “Crafting means spending money, but it’s worth it.”
“People are very friendly here, and we plan to be back next year. The Grayling Craft Show was a good experience,” said Mills.