Arts and Crafts Festival, The Forerunner Of Amish Acres, Celebrates 57 Years
The 57TH annual Amish Acres Arts & Crafts Festival will be held Thursday through Sunday, August 1 - August 4, 2019 on the grounds of Amish Acres, an 80 acre historic Amish farm listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It is one of the longest running festivals dedicated to arts and crafts in the nation.
The Historic Farm & Heritage Resort is celebrating its 50th anniversary thanks to the festival. Seven years earlier the show paved the way for the creation of Amish Acres. As a clothes line art show in downtown Nappanee fifty seven years ago, it sparked interest in local Amish products and services that became the business plan for Amish Acres. Since its founding the farm has passed milestone after milestone as five million visitors have made Amish Acres their destination. Parts of the festival moved to the farm in 1969 and soon became the highlight of each ensuing year.
The event brings to this northern Indiana historic farm a marketplace filled with the creations of artists and artisans from every corner of the country with nearly 200 juried artists/crafters from 200 cities and 30 states. Visitors from across the state and beyond numbering almost 60,000, many representing third generations, descend on the farm annually for the celebration. It includes entertainment on four stages throughout the day, strolling musicians, folk singers, bluegrass music, and more. Live Broadway musical theatre in repertory, Plain and Fancy, and Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn will be performed on the Joseph Stein Stage in The Round Barn Theatre for a combined total of six performances. In addition, selections of songs from both will be performed on the festival grounds Thursday and Friday. Festive food will be served including pulled-pork, soft-serve ice cream, fried vegetables, donkey ears, and more.
$5,000 in Artist Cash Prizes and $2,000 in Amish Acres Products and Experiences to be given away to festival visitors will total $7,000 in prizes throughout the four days. Visitors may also register to win the handmade Diamond in the Square Quilt that will be given away on New Year's Eve.
Judging for the winners of $5,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to artists in the marketplace. The judges will systematically search through the booths in each aisle, interacting with the exhibitors, while seeking the best of the best in six categories. Winner's ribbons, including the two $1,000 purchase prizes, will be presented to the winning artists and craftsmen to proudly display in their booths throughout the festival. Drawings for visitor giveaways include theatre and overnight getaway packages, wagon rides, guided tours, and The Best of Show collection is on permanent display in the Arts & Crafts Best of Show Blue Ribbon Museum located in the Barn Loft of Amish Acres Restaurant.
The fourth generation of the founding family is now involved in the festival's planning and production. Richard Pletcher, founder of the festival and Amish Acres, remains CEO and Jennifer Pletcher Wysong is the festival director. The event started as a clothes line show in downtown Nappanee during sidewalk days in 1962. Amish Acres was created and grew out of the demand from the early festival's visitors for Amish related experiences and products.
Festival hours are Thursday-Saturday (August 1-3) 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday (August 4) from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission price is $7.00 for adults, $6.00 for seniors (60 & older), and students 12 - 17; active military and children under age 12 are free. Parking is free with several parking areas and six entrances for visitors' convenience.
Amish Acres is located on U.S. Highway 6, one mile west of downtown Nappanee. Pre-event tickets and four-day passes can be purchased online. For more information on Amish Acres, the Arts and Crafts Festival, and The Round Barn Theatre visit AmishAcres.com or call (800) 800-4942.