GREENFIELD — After the hottest summer on record in 2012 followed by two years of rain, organizers of the Pennsy Trail Art Fair and Music Festival are hoping for good weather for the 13th annual event Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The festival serves as the biggest fundraiser of the year for Mental Health Partners, a Greenfield-based clearinghouse that provides services to those with mental health and other needs.
It will take place on the Pennsy Trail south of Main Street between Riley and Pennsylvania streets. Kim Hall, the new executive director of Mental Health Partners and organizer of the event, has rounded up artists, food vendors and performers for the summer arts celebration.
Hall is not a newbie to the fair. As a five-year board member of Mental Health Partners, she had a good idea of what needed to be done to organize the event. Working together with past board president Jeff McClarnon, the board and a host of volunteers, Hall and her crew have put together an eclectic mix of art, food and entertainment, she said.
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Many attendees come for the art, Hall said. Hall stressed the fair is not a flea market. Only hand-crafted art is accepted. Artists offer beaded and metal jewelry, watercolors, oils, photography, stained glass, ceramics, quilts and pottery.
Kerri Bash, a watercolor and oils artist from Argus in northern Indiana, has brought her artwork to the fair for the last 10 years. She has two specialties.
“My watercolors are children’s art and really sweet and magical. My oil paintings present a unifying environmentalist message to raise awareness of what we are dong to our environment and give a message of hope of how we can help,” Bash said.
The fair is a successful event for her, she said, because there are collectors who come back year after year to buy her work.
On board this year to provide food and drink are the Buck Creek Winery, Books and Brews from Fishers, Uncle Monkey’s Picnic and the Wooden Bear from Greenfield. There will also be pizza, Mexican food, kettle corn and snow cones.
McClarnon believes this year’s entertainment line-up is the best yet. Each of the three musical acts will perform a full two-hour concert on the music stage set up on the grounds of the festival.
The fair is the brainchild of past Mental Health Partners president Ann Osborne, who envisioned the fair as a way for the nonprofit to fund some of its outreach projects.
In 13 years, the festival’s attendance has doubled, but organizers are always looking to the future.
“There is still room to grow,” Hall said. “We have room for more vendors and more food.”
Other events include the Ducky Derby raffle, where attendees purchase floating toy ducks, which are later drawn out of a large plastic swimming pool for opportunities to win tickets and admission to many local attractions and events, and the Ducky Derby Dash 5K run.
A chance to paint a picture for a veteran is just one of a number of activities for children. Greenfield Main Street is sponsoring a bike parade in the afternoon, and there will be chalk drawing and face-painting as well.
There is still time to register for the Ducky Derby Dash at fun-races.com/ducky. Ducky Derby Raffle ducks can be purchased throughout the day. For more information about the Pennsy Art Fair and Music Festival, visit pennsytrailartfair.com.