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Art, crafts, food and music draw crowd to Lake George Summer Festival

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The final day of the Lake George Summer Festival drew several hundred to Shepard Park yesterday to browse the arts and crafts, sample locally produced foods and even take a dip in the still chilly waters of Lake George. Sunday afternoon, the Steven L. Smith Band, a local favorite, provided live music from the Shepard Park amphitheatre. Proceeds from the annual festival help support the Lake George Volunteer Fire Department.

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Local artisans offered a wide array of handmade jewelry, home décor items, toys, clothing and furniture. Shoppers had the opportunity to try an assortment of food products including jams spiced with hot peppers and numerous varieties of salsas, sauces and dips. Roasted almonds, fudge, kettle corn, maple products, wines and beers rounded out the selection. Those looking for a quick bite could purchase a hotdog loaded with sauerkraut and chili from the St. James Episcopal Church Heavenly Hot Dog Wagon.

Author Richard Mickelson was on hand to sign and personalize his books. Mickelson is creator of the Richie the Teddy Bear series of themed children’s books. He has also authored two books aimed at a slightly older audience, “The Frog who Jumped Over the Moon,” a tale of the greatest frog in the Adirondacks, and “The Wizard of Oz, Where is he Now?” The “Oz” story picks up where the movie ended, with the Wizard lifting away from the Land of Oz, and, unbeknownst to him, a munchkin has stowed away on board.

Mickelson began his career as a writer 30 years ago when, as he told Examiner, “I decided I didn’t want to go to work anymore.” Prior to devoting himself to writing full-time, Mickelson traveled across New York State selling mainframe computers. He says that while on the road he composed his stories so that by the time he decided to change careers, he had a pile of manuscripts to work with. He has experienced success as a writer, just recently contracting to sell 85,000 copies of “Oz” in China. “The Chinese are big 'Wizard of Oz' fans," says Mickelson.

The Lake George Fire Department will host another festival this August. The Family Festival begins Tuesday, Aug.12 with bounce houses for the children and games of chance for the adults. The Family Festival Craft Show runs Friday, Aug. 15 through Sunday, Aug. 17. For more information, contact event coordinator Stephanie Fregoe at (518)744-5490.

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