Take a giant farm, import almost 300 of the finest craft artisans you can find, and invite 60,000 of your closest friends. Yep – that pretty much sums up the 52th annual Amish Acres Arts & Crafts Festival. Located in Nappanee, Indiana, the festival is on the “Top 100” list of destinations selected by the American Bus Association for the sixth time.
The arts and crafts festival began in 1962, growing to a huge four-day show that now attracts artisans from 30 states across the US. The event moved to Amish Acres as it outgrew the downtown area where it originated as a clothes line art show. Amish Acres is a restored 80-acre historic farm just a mile from downtown Nappanee.
Crafts ranged from wooden furniture, toys and jewelry to iron lawn decorations, garden supplies and clothes of every shape and description. Candles, wine supplies and natural products were available, as well as personalized signs and clothing. Art ranged from quilts to paintings, photography and bead work. Products for your pets? Pawsitively.
If you had come with your Christmas gift list and a pick-up truck, you could have certainly made a dent in your list.
In addition to the hundreds of craft booths, food vendors offered a wide variety of selections. We tried some Italian sausage and beef brisket sandwiches which were both excellent. The Amish cinnamon doughnuts were out of this world – but only available in packs of six.
Swan boats on the lake were extremely popular. Located in the center of the farm, a small lake provided plenty of space for parents and kids to pedal their boats while others tried fishing from a small pier.
Entertainment went on throughout the show on four stages. Lisa & Mark Woolever wandered the grounds playing music and creating smiles as they made their way around the farm. Lessons and craft demonstrations filled out the day.
Next year’s event is planned for August 6-9 and you’ll be able to find it on our Calendar of Events.
Doug Bardwell, based in Cleveland, OH, writes about travel destinations, photography and tech topics across the country and around the world at DougBardwell.com. Feel free to drop him a line at email@example.com with suggestions for future stories. To get his stories delivered to your inbox, click the RSS feed or the "Subscribe" button above or follow him on Facebook , Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. To read Doug’s disclosure notice, click here. For travel ideas in Cleveland and around the world, check his Calendar of Events. To see his travel photo collection, see BardwellPhotography.com.