One of the Southeast’s most popular events, the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair, returns July 18-27 to the Gatlinburg Convention Center.
The 39th annual show features 200 booths from artisans and craftsmen all over the United States. With each participant subject to a jury process, every item they create is insured to be top quality and unique.
“We’re partnering with Smoky Mountain Area Ministries to present our new children’s area,” said Tracey Large, fair coordinator. “It’s free and available for children age 2 and up. There will be lots of art projects for them, everything from making necklaces to painting birdhouses. It’s going to be adorable.”
Show participants include Larry Burton, an award-winning artist from Townsend; Sandy Hensley, a jewelry designer from Shelbyville, Ky; and Charles Adams, a stained glass artist from Troy, Ala. Burton uses watercolors on canvas to depict scenes of East Tennessee, including the Smoky Mountains, Cades Cove and Blue Ridge Parkway. A resident artist for the 1982 World’s Fair, limited additions of his work are showcased in many East Tennessee businesses, such as Alcoa, Clayton Homes and Blount Memorial Hospital.
Hensley’s fascination with the spirituality of nature inspires her jewelry. She strives for each piece to be sleek, sophisticated and unique, handcrafting them in gold, silver and semi-precious stones. Pendants, neck rings and bracelets with free form designs embody ancient and modern elements.
Adams has created a unique collection of stained glass works including windows, doors, clocks, Tiffany style lamps, kaleidoscopes, sun catchers and what many consider his specialty, stained glass angels. Having participated in the Gatlinburg fair for almost 30 years, he designs inventory for more than three months and still rarely has enough merchandise to meet the demand of the show.
“I’ve met people at the show throughout the U.S. as well as Germany and England,” Adams said. “In fact, a gentleman from Texas ordered a 5-foot stained glass angel for his church and sent a driver to pick it up so it wouldn’t get broken.”
There’s even free live country and bluegrass music at the event: Dennis Lee and Band and Tim Watson, “The Fiddle Man,” will perform at 12 p.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. each day.
The fair is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, except for Sunday, which is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission for adults is $6; children 12 and under are admitted free.
The Gatlinburg Convention Center is located at Traffic Light #8 in downtown Gatlinburg.
For additional information call 865-436-7479 or visit our website, www.craftsmenfair.com