Updated 9 hours ago
What keeps people coming back every year to the Pennsylvania Arts and Crafts Labor Day Festival is a good blend of the familiar and the unexpected, says Trisha Cusick, assistant to promoter Dave Stoner of Family Festivals Association Inc. of Irwin.
“The returning vendors develop quite a following, and there’s always an infusion of new exhibitors, so there’s a nice balance,” she says.
Set for Sept. 1 through 4 at the Westmoreland Fairgrounds in Mt. Pleasant Township, the 24th annual festival will feature more than 220 booths with exhibitors from 19 states.
“It’s a good all-around atmosphere,” says Amy Blackburn of Greensburg, who will be selling handcrafted Swarovski jewelry under the name Crystal Elegance. “There are lots of vendors, food and kids’ activities — something for the whole family.”
In addition to arts and crafts, there will be home and seasonal decor, jewelry, embellished clothing, candles, lotions, soaps, pet treats and accessories, gourmet food items and more.
Concessions will offer favorite festival foods, from pulled pork to nachos to gyros, along with sweets and thirst quenchers.
“(Stoner) does a nice job of arranging some nice, light entertainment,” Cusick says.
Joining the Penn Trafford Community Band and the Southwestern Pennsylvania Firefighters’ Pipes and Drum Band will be Scott Leichliter and the Travelin’ Road Show.
“(Leichliter) is the state fiddling champion,” Cusick says. “You just have to stop and watch this guy. It’s not the kind of thing you stumble on every day, so it’s a treat to get to hear him.”
Special music feature on Labor Day will be DJ Ed Bihler playing a musical trivia game.
To keep the younger set amused, clowns Glitter Dot and Dapper will make balloon animals and do face-painting. Also planned are a petting zoo, train rides and a fishing pond game with prizes.
Yearly festival attendance averages…