By KAITLYN NAPLES
The 52nd annual Chrysanthemum Festival is only about one week away, and a few dozen craft vendors are committing to lining Memorial Boulevard with their products.
Kerry Walsh is organizing the Mum Festival craft show this year, and she said while 35 vendors were already committed about one month ago, there is room for more.
“It (craft show) is busy the entire day,” Walsh said, adding that vendors are being asked to sign up for the festival by the week before the craft show, which will be held on Saturday, Sept. 21.
Last year, Jane Morgan of Blue Sky Stamping, was a vendor at the Mum Festival craft show for the first time, and is planning to be a vendor again this year.
“Last year’s festival was so exciting with all the people attending and having a good time,” Morgan said in an email interview. “I am looking forward to participating again this year.”
She started her business Blue Sky Stamping in 2009 as just a hobby at first, but it eventually grew. Morgan makes hand-made stamp cards and different gifts that are $10 and under, she said.
She said she brought her hobby to a few summer fairs in 2009, and said that “by that fall, I was completely enjoying myself, participating in more fairs and had met a lot of great people (who have continued to support her).”
Morgan, who grew up in Bristol and now lives in Unionville, said her favorite things about the Mum Festival are the car show and hot air balloons, which made their way to Bristol earlier this summer.
“It helps as a crafter participating in a well organized event,” she added.
The Mum Festival craft show offers a variety of vendors, from home-made goods to local organizations informing the crowd of what they do.
Morgan said she the craft show offers the perfect opportunity for crafters to showcase what they have, and a venue for the public to see a wide variety of items.
“It is great to have the community come to support local businesses,” she said. “We put a lot into what we do and it is a good feeling to have festival goers be able to see that.”
Morgan said she always picks a “good selection” of items to showcase at each craft fair she attends, so customers have a variety to choose from.
“I enjoy, and am excited, seeing their happiness when they find something they like for themselves or for someone else,” she said.
Lisa Fortunato will be bringing a different craft to the Mum Festival – face painting, but not your typical face painting. Fortunato, owner of Pizzazz Faces, does full face designs “with glitter, gems, and all the bling.”
She started her business three years ago, after bringing her daughter to a birthday party. She said she saw a face painter who did full face designs, with all kinds of additions, and was hooked.
“I have always been crafty and somewhat creative and decided this is something I wanted to learn,” Fortunato said in an email interview. So, she went to a convention in Connecticut, “Yes, they have a face painter convention actually in (Connecticut), and tI ook a lot of classes and pictures.”
She said she practiced on family and eventually started up her business.
“And here I am today, three years later, with a successful side business doing something I love, putting smiles on kids faces,” Fortunato said, adding she does face painting and glitter tattoos for all kinds of events, big and small.
While Fortunato has never been a vendor at the Mum Festival before, she said she is excited to be one this year.
“I wanted to be a part of this show because I have become really involved in many events in and around Bristol,” she said. “I think it’s really important to be apart of the community and have the organizations of the community support the local artisans.”
The craft show will be held on Memorial Boulevard on Saturday, Sept. 21, starting at 10 a.m. There will be stage entertainment throughout the day, and also a car show from 2 to 6 p.m.
For continued updates and parking information, visit www.bristolmumfestival.org. Memorial Boulevard will be blocked off between 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 20, until 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 22.
Comments? Email knaples@BristolObserver. com.