GREENBELT, Md.– The sounds of live music and loud chatter, the scent of baked goods and the familiar atmosphere of a cherished local landmark greeted people as they walked passed through the doors of the Greenbelt Community Center on Saturday and Sunday.
Over the course of two days, hundreds of visitors came to scout local artists’ wares at the city’s Festival of Lights Juried Art and Craft Fair– from wooden spoons and pottery to handmade soap and honey skin products.
“It is an event that the whole community looks forward to each year,” said Anne Gardner, the arts education specialist for the Greenbelt recreation department.
This year marked the 47th fair.
The fair featured booths of approximately 75 artists, artisans and authors, according to Gardner.
“It gives a chance for regional artists and authors, including several Greenbelt residents, to showcase their talents, and community members can enjoy the many beautiful crafts on display, and take care of their Christmas shopping,” she said.
Karen Arrington, creator of Arrington’s Soulful Pottery and resident artist at the Greenbelt Community Center, said being a part of the art and craft fair is not just about selling her work.
Arrington encounters curious community members looking to start in pottery and she recommends Greenbelt’s arts classes. That’s how she started about 13 years ago.
The art and craft fair also featured booths from two community favorites, the Greenbelt Museum and the Friends of Greenbelt Theatre.
Wendy Hurlock Baker, a board member of the Friends of the Greenbelt Museum, said being a part of the fair is a great reminder of how much people love the museum.
People had the option of purchasing gifts or donating to support the museum and theatre.
To entertain customers, there was live music both afternoons, a free craft workshop Sunday afternoon for all ages but was mainly popular with children and an outside holiday market Sunday from the Greenbelt Farmers Market.
During the festival, the dining room was transformed into a café, operated by the Greenbelt Arts Center, which is a local black box community theater that puts on plays and musicals each year.
Gardner said, “There was something there for everyone to enjoy.”