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Weather and season made for successful festival

By Staff | Oct 3, 2014

The organizers of the 39th annual Fall Mountain Heritage Arts and Crafts Festival could not have ordered more perfect weather for their festivities over the past weekend. Sunny skies, light breezes and warm temperatures had shoppers coming out in droves.

“It was a huge crowd,” said Heather McIntyre, director of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, who hosts the festival. “It was also a buying crowd,” she said as she shared that sales were high for the show’s vendors.

Agreeing was Shepherdstown artist Mary Kay Anderson who has shown her wares for approximately the past eight years.

“We did very well this year,” Anderson said of she and her booth partner, Steve Helmick, of ‘The Shop,’ in Martinsburg. The two, she said, began sharing booth space about four years ago when they decided their offerings paired well together. Helmick offers furniture while Anderson provides decorative art in a variety of mediums.

“I do mostly acrylics,” Anderson said, “but some watercolors and pencil and pastels.”

Across the lane from Anderson was Mystical Silk offering hand painted and energized silk by Jeannine Holzman. Hailing from Wisconsin, Holzman first showed at Mountain Heritage last year. She enjoyed the show so much and did well that she came back for this year.

At the end of the weekend, Holzman shared that she had a very successful show. Nearly all of her stock was depleted as shoppers selected just the right scarf or jacket throughout the weekend.

Holzman believes that part of her success is attributable to the fact that she is an outgoing and friendly vendor.

“I say hello to everyone who walks by and invite them in to play,” she said, And play they did, as scarves were tried and lessons were given in tying fashionable ties. All felt welcome and many selected items for themselves or for gifts.

Those intersted in seeing more of Holzman’s beautiful silks can like her on Facebook at Mysitcal Silk by Jeannine.

McIntyre said that many use the fall festival as a venue for Christmas shopping. Many shoppers concurred as they filled their shopping bags full and even made multiple trips to their vehicles with purchases.

In years past, there have been two festivals per year with one in June and one in September. The Chamber decided to limit the show to the fall this year due to economic constraints both on their end and on the side of the shopper.

Anderson said that she loved having only the one show.

“In the spring, it was often people coming to look around,” she said. Then shoppers may come back in September to spend or they may not. McIntyre also expressed the belief that the fall show had more people simply shopping, often impulse or spontaneous shopping.

“They used to come in June and ‘window shop,’ McIntyre said. “They would ask vendors if they were going to be here in September and come back then.” With one show, McIntyre said shoppers just bought because it was their only chance.

The next festival will celebrate 40 years of the event and McIntyre said there will be some special attributes to help celebrate. The dates are set for Sept. 25, 26 and 27, 2015.

Prior to that, Anderson said that those interested in her goods can find her at the Ho Ho Holiday event to be held at the Shepherdstown Community Club Nov. 28, 29 and 30 during the kick-off weekend of Christmas in Shepherdstown. Like her on Facebook at M. Kay Designs.