Thousands of people headed to the 2022 Craft Festival to support local artists

Published: Nov. 27, 2022 at 11:49 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -While Black Friday and small business Saturday came to an end, many people still had a chance to support artists at the annual Craft Festival. For more than 20 years, thousands of people have come to the festival at the Stephen O’Connell Center.

“I think I like it because there’s just such a wide variety of everything all in one place,” said Rychane Marsac. “I’ve been coming here since I moved to Gainesville in 97′ just like to look at all the new crafts.”

Over 150 artists signed up to let their talents speak for themselves. Many artists like Shirley Jones said they wouldn’t be able to do what she loves without community support.

“The most important thing because we get a lot of people in here and we’ve had a lot of repeat customers,” said Jones. “I have to thank my lovely partner jane because it was actually originally her idea and she kind of wheeled it to me and we do it together so it’s great to do that with her too.”

While many artists have been creating these unique treasures for decades. Gloria Lee is continuing her late husband’s tradition. Ernest M. Lee was a professor at Santa Fe College before he passed last year.

“I appreciate them so much the customers are coming in and want to see his work and was so excited about he had accomplished,” said Lee. “They tell me Ms. Lee, he will never be forgotten, I’m just making sure.”

The two-day festival brought out thousands of people and will be back at the same time next year.

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