A penchant for Pennsy

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GREENFIELD — Kim Hall’s office is decorated with paintings, ceramics and knickknacks purchased over the years from the art vendors at the annual Pennsy Trail Art Fair and Music Festival.

She points out a ceramic vase on the bookshelf made by Emily Fedorchak and a painting on the wall done by Deb Hamm.

“I need an expense allowance for myself,” Hall jokes. “I try to buy something from every vendor and hang it in my home or office.”

Hall, executive director of Mental Health Partners of Hancock County, will no doubt find many must-have treasures on July 27 as the Pennsy Trail Art Fair and Music Festival once again visits the Courthouse Plaza in downtown Greenfield.

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This year’s fair features a 30 percent increase in vendors over previous years. Artisans will be selling jewelry, pottery, watercolors, photography, custom made ink pens and custom-designed playing cards.

The entertainment line-up at the Courthouse Plaza Gazebo includes blues rock and country band Hazard Bound from 11 a.m. to 12:30. From 1 to 2:30, Occasional Blues will take the stage. Blackberry Jam, performing a repertoire of old-time dance music, Cajun, Celtic, cowboy songs, country blues and novelty tunes will close out the entertainment from 3 to 4:30 p.m.

Across American Legion Place — which will be blocked off from traffic — the Hearts Ablaze cloggers will perform in the Courthouse Annex parking lot from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. followed by Wilkerson Dance from 12:15 to 1 p.m.

Attendees to the festival will also have their choice of culinary treats from 10 different food trucks such as the Stone Barn Kitchen, Slider Station Food Truck (offering gluten-free items and salad), the Wild Boar Barbecue, 2 Mother Puckers Lemonade, Grill to Go, the J & M Sweet Shack (snow cones and deep fried Snicker bars and Twinkies) and Dal-Forno Pizza.

At 2 p.m., the Mental Health Partners Grand Prix gets under way as teams compete against each other in an adult Big Wheel relay race. Each team will attempt to make four laps of the Annex parking lot with the winning team being rewarded with a trophy cup and year-long bragging rights.

The Greenfield Police Department will be defending its title against teams from Hancock Regional Hospital, Ninestar Connect and the Cumberland Police Department.

Registration for the race will be open the day of the festival at $25 per person at the Mental Health Partners booth.

At 4:30 p.m., the annual Ducky Derby raffle drawing will take place. Rubber ducks — ranging in price from $5 for one to 50 ducks for $100 — will be drawn out of the plaza fountain for prizes. Donations for the raffle are still coming in, but among the prizes are passes to the Indianapolis Zoo; the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky; Marengo Cave; the Squire Boone Caverns; Conner Prairie; Shedd Aquarium; and the Fort Wayne Zoo.

Although the official hours for the festival are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Hall recalls last year’s event when people began showing up at 9 a.m. before vendors and performers were ready to go.

To that end, Hall has booked pre-fair entertainment and even scheduled a 10 a.m. yoga session — location to be determined — outside the advertised time.

Jess Jones, an acoustic musician out of Pendleton, will perform beginning at 9 a.m. A late addition to the entertainment line-up, Jones had contacted Hall well after all the performance slots were all booked, so Hall scheduled him for pre-fair entertainment.

“You’re good, and I’m not going to say no,” Hall told him.

Hall works on the festival all year long. A table in her office is covered with stacks of paper: one pile is food service applications; another is vendor registration; a couple of loose sheets of paper are hand-drawn maps of vendor booth locations.

Proceeds for the event go to help fund Mental Health Partners’ programming, including the Survivors of Suicide Support Group, reduced fee counseling services, Navigation Backpacks, the Knit Wit Group and the Heroin Protocol New Life Journey.

Now in her fifth year as president, Hall loves working on the Pennsy Trail Art Fair and Music Festival. She’s hoping this year’s attendance will top last year’s record-breaking 5,000.

“It’s like Christmas to me,” she said. “You work so hard on preparing it, and you never know what is going to happen on Christmas morning.”

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What:  The Pennsy Trail Art Fair and Music Festival

Hosted by:  Mental Health Partners of Hancock County

Where:  Courthouse Plaza downtown

When:  from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 27

Details:  art vendors, food trucks and a full day of musical entertainment, Admission is free

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