I live in a tiny part of the world where every season is welcomed with a smile and a cheer festifall-chapel-hillof joy. As Autumn sets in, I saw events on “arts and crafts” festival – called ‘Festifall’ listed in many towns, and cities of North Carolina in the US. I wondered what they were and planned a visit to one of the Festifall at Chapel Hill.

The community of Chapel Hill had got a number of skilled artisans, non-profit and community groups carefully selected with a juried panel based on their uniqueness, skill, and quality of work. The roads of downtown were clubbed together to display this event and as I stepped into the Festifall, I was greeted by a music stage with a band going live. Pairs from the crowd joined in the music dancing to the tunes and tapped their toes to the lovely band.

I proceeded ahead to the neat row of stalls set-up on one side of the road and eagerly started exploring the arts and crafts vendors with their luminous displays. There were a variety of craftsmen selling pottery, colorful dinnerware and tableware, wooden carved and painted crafts, ceramic gnomes and collectibles, clay and tile art,hand-made bags, pillows, etc.

As I entered through the stalls to take a closer look at the hand-made crafts, I was touched by the wonderful smiles of the artisans who sat busily working and at the same time greeted all the visitors and asked if they needed help in finding things. A busy craftswoman also talked to me about her hand-made business, the type of strategy she uses on channels like Etsy and her website and how she was passionate about this work.

Next I proceeded with ecstasy to see some of the work displayed by several community and non-profit groups and started chatting with a lady who was promoting economic welfare for the children in Guatemala city. She had some simple yet handpainted works of arts and crafts – paintings, wind chimes, wall hangings, toys, bead hangings etc., which were handpicked by her during her visit to Guatemala. There were around 30+ other community and non-profit groups like Town of Chapel Hill Public Library, Town of Chapel Hill Police Department, Bhakti Yoga of NC, Farmers Market, Eyes, Ears Nose and Paw etc, who were offering consulting advice and providing information on their services.

Kids were entertained with arts and crafts – stall where they could make their own clay models, do painting, do arts with the fall season felt paper cut-outs, do coloring and painting, etc. There was also a small stage where budding artists aka the young ones could perform their traditional dances

Overall, a very different arts and crafts festival with a glimpse of the hardwork that goes behind each of the hand-made items, the dedication of the community to bring forward a message of encouraging artisan work and the importance of services to the community. I end my blog with a satisfaction that this is one of the small but rich events that I have experienced during my travels.

Adieu! Hope you enjoyed this festival.

Blog contributed by: Arthi Sridharan, Marketing Professional, North Carolina, US

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